Survey on Future Support Needs for Social Enterprises



The Partnership has managed two support programmes over the past 2/3 years, both of which are shortly coming to an end.  These programmes have provided support to help setup new social enterprises, provided expert business advice to existing social enterprises to help the businesses grow and develop new services, as well as funding a number of networking events, including our annual conference and awards ceremony.

Your feedback and input is vital in helping us determine what support activities we should look to provide in future programmes.

If you could spare a few minutes to answer this short survey, it would be much appreciated.


Knowledge Exchange Visit to Liverpool – 24/25th September

the_brinkThe Partnership has been working with Social Enterprise Network, our equivalent organisation in Liverpool to pull together a knowledge exchange visit to some of the city’s thriving social enterprises. The visit will be a great opportunity to talk to individuals involved in some of Liverpool’s most inspiring social enterprises – sharing learning, experiences and ideas over a packed two days.

The visit has been organised to coincide with the monthly ‘Liverpool SOUP’ where entrepreneurs pitch to the audience; a combination of networking and crowd funding -and also includes visits to a range of social enterprises operating in retail, social care, health and wellbeing and the creative and digital sector as well as the opportunity to talk to those influencing the direction of social enterprise in the area.  See full itinerary for more detailed information about the visit

In addition to this, delegates will take part in reflective and feedback sessions during the visit and afterwards in Cumbria. These sessions will be designed to ensure the attendees get the most from their visit and to identify priorities for the sector in Cumbria.

The visit will take place on Thursday and Friday, 24th/25th September and includes accommodation and all meals. The visit will be facilitated by Social Enterprise Network and is subsidised by Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership enabling costs to be kept to a minimum.

We are asking for a voluntary contribution of £100 per person. We think this is really good value considering the number of organisations and opportunities available over the visit, but if this is a barrier to you being able to attend, please get in touch to discuss.

As places are limited, an early response is recommended and we would be grateful if you could confirm your interest to Sue Gilbertson, by Monday, 14th September.


The beating heart of a village … Nenthead Community Shop

Nenthead Community Shop & Post Office, situated in the very far north eastern corner of Cumbria has been going strong since 2007 when it was established by a determined group of villagers who refused to go without their vital village hub when the old village shop and Post Office closed down meaning villagers faced a 10 mile round trip just to buy essentials like milk and newspapers..

Rallying together villagers managed to raise nearly £10,000 towards opening a shop in new premises through a community share offer, with over 100 members buying shares. This money along with grant funding and a small loan allowed them to set up a community owned co-operative shop and post office.

Peter Davidson chair of the directors of the community shop, like many other villagers he felt the loss of the shop during this period.“It was not so much that you could not buy your local paper but more that you did not know what was going on the village you didn’t see anybody if you were not involved in something else in the village. I think that is what people missed most when the old shop closed was not bumping into people and finding out what was happening.”

Listen to what some of the villagers have to say about their community shop …