Social Enterprise … The Future of Business

New research published by Social Enterprise UK ‘The Hidden Revolution’ presents fresh analysis of the size and scale of the social enterprise sector. According to independent analysis, the social enterprise sector makes a £60bn contribution to UK GDP, compared to £24bn in previous research. The Hidden Revolution also brings together key statistics which show that social enterprises are more competitive than traditional firms, confirming that social enterprises are the Future of Business.

DOWNLOAD a copy of the full report

For the first time, research has considered the impact of 5,000 larger social enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized social enterprises. Taken together with other data, this means that there are around 100,000 social enterprises, contributing £60bn to the UK economy and employing 2,000,000 people.

In total, social enterprises are worth around 3% of UK GDP – three times larger than the agricultural sector – and 5% of all UK employment, employing as many people the entire creative industry sector.

Social Enterprise UK, the Co-op Group and Nationwide Building Society are calling on the government to take greater notice of the growing importance of the sector and back its growth through a comprehensive package of measures. This would build on the Civil Society Strategy published last month and the Industrial Strategy published by government last year. Measures could include:

  • Using public procurement policy to support social enterprise through strengthening the Social Value Act
  • Amending company law so that businesses have to give more regard to their social and environmental responsibilities
  • Consider how the tax system can incentivise businesses which have a social as well as an economic impact on society
  • Embedding social enterprise in the school curriculum so that young people are aware of the option of starting or working for a social enterprise

Without backing social enterprises, the country will struggle to remain competitive leaving communities up and down the country more vulnerable.

Social Enterprise Summit Event

Thursday, 5th July, 9.30am to 2pm

People First Cumbria Conference Centre, Carlisle



To celebrate Cumbria’s accreditation as a  Social Enterprise County, we are holding an event in partnership with Social Enterprise UK to discuss what it means for the county and how we can make the most of gaining this status.  We hope you can join us.



GDPR Implementation Workshop

Tuesday, 5th June from 9.30am to 4.30pm
South Lakes Foyer, Stricklandgate, Kendal, LA9 4RA

The General Data Protective Regulation comes into effect on 25th May 2018, so if your organisation has not already made provision to comply with this new legislation, then this workshop is for you!

This one day intensive workshop is not for the faint hearted, but participants will come away with a good solid knowledge of what the new GDPR legislation is all about and be confident about the steps needed to implement a GDPR strategy for their organisation.  An assessment toolkit is also provided as part of the training.

The workshop is fully funded by Cumbria County Council through the CSEP Social Enterprise Support & Networking Programme.  The training workshop will cover 3 main areas:

Overview of GDPR

  • How GDPR applies to your organisation
  • GDPR terminology and background, including the rights of data subjects, the roles of data controllers and processors
  • Processing data for marketing purposes
  • Dealing with international data transfers, supply chain, third party and cloud services data
  • Procedures and policies
  • Privacy by design
  • An overview of Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA)
  • The differences between the Data Protection Act and the EU GDPR

Managing a GDPR Project

  • Identifying Personal Data with case-studies to help identify what personal data is
  • How to carry out a GDPR GAP Analysis
  • Privacy Impact/Risk Assessments and how to manage and report a breach/incident
  • Developing an Action Plan, including ongoing monitoring and auditing
  • Demonstrating compliance with the GDPR

Data Protection by Design

This will include guidance on techniques for data management and security and encryption tools available.

For more information about the workshop and to book a place email

Let’s talk GOOD finance workshop !

Thursday, 24th May from 12:30 to 3:30

Wigton Market Hall

This event, run in partnership with Key Fund Investments, will discuss social investment, create links between investors and grass roots organisations and give attendees a chance to hear a firsthand view on using debt finance from social enterprises that have done so, which will help inform organisations to discover if social investment might be right for them.

The events are informal, focused on providing case studies and examples of how VCSE organisations have used social investment, what they learnt and also provides the opportunity to meet and chat to social investors.

CLICK HERE for more information about the event and how to book.

Cumbria Social Enterprise Census

It is over 10 years since any statistics have been collected to measure the social enterprise activity within Cumbria.

As well as carrying out a mapping exercise to identify the number of social enterprise businesses operating within Cumbria, including where they are located and what sector they operate in, we also want to collect some more indepth information from social enterprise businesses, including how many people work within the sector and the economic impact it has on the county.

If you could spare the time in your busy day to spend 10 minutes completing the survey, it would really help us to collect the data to enable us to report accurately on the sector.

The survey is online and can be accessed at Survey Monkey

The Right Structure for You ?

The Partnership is running free workshops in conjunction with Cumbria CVS to explore different legal and governance structures. The workshops will provide an opportunity to clarify and explore different governance structures including community interest companies, charitable incorporated organisations charities, charitable companies and companies limited by guarantee – to help you decide which structure is right for you and perhaps whether your current structure is still fit for purpose.

For example, it is becoming clear that many community groups do not currently have a legal structure that protects trustees and limits their personal liability, which often makes it difficult to recruit new trustees.

The workshop is suitable both for social enterprises and community organisations and for those just starting out to organisations that have been operating for many years, and also for anyone contemplating setting up a new community or social enterprise.

The training is for third sector organisations only and is FREE* through Cumbria County Council’s Social Enterprise Networking programme.

There are two workshops being held, one in the south and one in the north:

Thursday 10 May 2018 ***WORKSHOP ALREADY HELD ***
2.30pm – 4.30pm or 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Stricklandgate House, Stricklandgate, Kendal LA9 4PU

Thursday 24 May 2018
2.30pm – 4.30pm or 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Penrith Methodist Church, 10 Wordsworth St, Penrith CA11 7QW

Book online:

* Cancellation policy applies.

2018 Award Ceremony … and the winners are …

The 2018 Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership Awards & Annual Networking event took place on Thursday, 8th March in Whitehaven at the newly refurbished Rosehill Theatre. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Empowering Communities through Enterprise’ and the speakers and award winners this year certainly showcased some of the amazing and inspirational social enterprise organisations operating throughout the county and in particular in the west of the county.

Rob Randell, Chair of the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership said “This year’s event was the “best ever” according to the feedback we received from our audience. The quality of applications for this year’s awards were exceptional, and the judges had an incredibly hard time in choosing the winners. I was very pleased to announce that Cumbria has been granted Social Enterprise County status by Social Enterprise UK, which is a tribute to Cumbria County Council’s long term and continued support of the county’s Social Enterprise sector. Coincidently Thursday, 8th March was also International Women’s Day and I was delighted to see more women than men in both the audience, and on stage making inspirational presentations and receiving awards.”

There were four categories in this year’s awards:

  • New Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Community Enterprise of the Year
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year

The awards for the New Social Enterprise were presented by Daniel Heery of Cybermoor Services who presented the awards to the Winners, The Happy Mums Foundation CIC and also a Highly Commended Award to iCan Health & Fitness CIC.


The Happy Mums Foundation was setup in 2015 and provides local, practical and peer-led maternity mental health services across Carlisle and North Cumbria. They also offer room hire for classes, events, meetings and therapy sessions from their studios at the Coach House Centre in Aglionby. Accepting the award on behalf of Happy Mums, Founder and Director Katherine Dalgliesh said “We were totally inspired 3 years ago when we were sitting in the audience of the Social Enterprise Awards listening to the award winners, having just setup our new social enterprise and we can’t believe that today we’re up here on stage accepting this award!”

The awards for the Social Enterprise of the Year were presented by Martin Allman, Economic Programmes Manager for Cumbria County Council. The Winners were Whitehaven Community Trust and Highly Commended were Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC).


Whitehaven Community Trust was setup 28 years ago and has recently re-opened Bakewell House as a dedicated Mother and Baby unit offering safe and secure accommodation with support to vulnerable young mothers and their babies and re-opened Lowther Street once again to meet the ever growing need for supported accommodation for difficult to place homeless teenagers within our community. Kerry Maxwell OBE, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Whitehaven Community Trust said “The event was superb and the speakers were inspirational … and it was a lovely surprise for us to win.”

The Community Enterprise category proved to be a particularly very difficult category to judge this year, and Lorrainne Smythe from Action for Communities in Cumbria presented the awards to the Winning Enterprise West House and Highly Commended to People First Independent Advocacy.


West House provides care and support in West Cumbria for adults and children with learning disabilities – at home, in the community and in the workplace. It started in Allerby in 1996 with Grow West, their community garden enterprise and this was followed by Café West in Whitehaven, Café West Workington Library, Café West Keswick and their new venture setup last year is a pottery based at Westfield in Workington, which will develop opportunities not only in creative pottery skills but also in sales, marketing and finance. It now employs 36 staff and supports 73 trainees. James Cox, Chief Executive of West House said “We are delighted that everyone at West House enterprises has won this award – they more than deserve it. The staff and trainees at our cafes, garden centre and pottery, work extremely hard and not only do they deliver great services to their customers, but also make huge personal achievements every day. The award also recognises the invaluable support we receive from members of our community – our enterprises wouldn’t exist without people buying products from our pottery and garden centre, or going to our cafes, so we want to say to our customers how thankful we are for their support in being able to offer these training opportunities.”

The winner of the individual Social Entrepreneur award was Julia Clifford from iCan Health & Fitness. The award was presented by Sue Gilbertson, who manages the social enterprise contract, but who also worked with iCan as their business adviser to setup their social enterprise, funded through CSEP’s business support programme.

iCan Health & Fitness became a Community Interest Company less than a year ago and since becoming a CIC they have increased their paying membership by 54%. They operated as a private company from very small premises in Corporation Road in the centre of Carlisle from 2007 and in October 2017 relocated to Denton Holme. In the short time that they have been in their new premises, they have transformed it from a rather rundown dilapidated space into a warm, friendly and welcoming community wellbeing centre. Accepting the award, Julia said “I am overwhelmed, honoured and incredibly humbled to be given this award. It means the world to me to be recognised after 11 years of hard work, sweat and tears and I owe that all to the Social Enterprise Partnership, who literally saved my personal career and our business at iCan.”

Julia was nominated for the award by one of iCan’s members Pauline Wright and also by Andrew Shekell, Chief Executive of the Glenmore Trust who said “If you could harness Julia’s energy and enthusiasm you could run a small town!”

A Special Award was also presented to Allison Taylor from Cumbria Gateway who died suddenly in November 2017 aged 51.

Allison setup Cumbria Gateway in 2011, providing peer-led services and 4 supported housing flats … today it employs 2 project managers, 7 support staff, 1 handy person and 25 volunteers and now has 17 supported housing units.

Bill Prudham, Allison’s partner and Tom Hurst, Chair of Cumbria Gateway accepted the award on behalf of Allison.

“Allison had the driving force of 10 people and could make the impossible, possible. She will never be forgotten and her legacy will continue and grow for many years to come.”


The audience also heard from some truly inspiration speakers from West Cumbria including the hosts at Rosehill Theatre, with the story of the theatre’s history from its opening in 1959, through to its re-opening last April by Prince Charles following its £2.7m refurbishment. The theatre is a marvellous combination of a modern and contemporary venue, but has retained the original theatre described as a ‘rose-red silk lined jewel box’.

The audience were also moved by the very personal and emotional journey of Rachel Holliday who setup Time to Change in June 2013 to tackle homelessness and poverty in West Cumbria. Her vision was to build a homeless hostel but one that would make a positive difference to the community. Calderwood House staff and residents take part in many community activities and have a close working relationship with Egremont Town Council and liaise with them to find projects and community tasks. Angela Vaughan from West House gave the audience a taste of the history and some of the many enterprises run by West House. The final speaker was Dianne Richardson, Social Impact and Communications Manager for Balfour Beatty who undoubtedly demonstrated what a difference a major private business can contribute to communities when it puts its mind and effort into it.

The speakers took part in a lively panel discussion with a Q&A session from the audience.

Introduction to Social Value Workshop

“De-mystifying Social Value”

9.30am to 12.30pm on Thursday, 22 March 2018
CREA Building, Eden Rural Enterprise Centre, Penrith, CA11 0DT

  • What is Social Value?
  • Why do we need to bother?
  • How do we start to measure our impact?
  • Other related language … what does it all mean?
  • Where to go to for guidance and support

This half day workshop will be delivered by Nicola Lynch who is experienced in the delivery and evaluation of social impact and works across all sectors to support organisations in monitoring and evaluating their work for maximum impact for their stakeholders.

Who should attend?

The event is targeted at anyone who is looking for a basic understanding of what social value is, why your organisation should be monitoring it and how to make a start at doing it.

What will I get out of it?

  • A basic understanding of what social value is and why you need to measure it for your organisation.
  • An Action Plan for ‘Starting our Social Value journey’ – what you should be collecting and how to measure, quantify and report it simply.


This event is FREE but booking is essential. To reserve your place email before Tuesday, 20th March.

Cumbria Social Enterprise Conference & Awards Ceremony

Book your placeCSEP Annual Conference & Awards

“Empowering Communities through Enterprise”

Thursday, 8th March 2018
Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

The Partnership is delighted to be hosting this year’s Cumbria Social Enterprise awards ceremony in West Cumbria at the Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven, which re-opened last year following a £2.7m transformation. The event will also hear from some of the many inspirational social enterprises delivering services and activities throughout West Cumbria.

Booking for this free event is now open via Eventbrite

This year’s awards have four categories:

  • Overall Best Social Enterprise
  • Best New Social Enterprise
  • Best Community Enterprise
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Entries for the awards must be received by noon on Thursday, 22 February. Full details about the awards and how to submit an entry can be found at Award Criteria and Application Form