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Helix Social Enterprise Zone

Partner Action Number & Description

WP2 Action 1

Social Enterprise Incubation -  Helix Social Enterprise Zone (HSEZ)

Description / Nature of Pilot

The Helix Social Enterprise Zone is a partnership developed to increases interest and drive capacity across the Falkirk areas to build on the themes and success of the Helix project. The Helix is a major transformational project designed to transform a 350 hectare area of derelict greenspace into a place for people and enterprise.

The idea of a ‘Social Enterprise Zone’ is designed to reach out into the communities beyond the Helix site and to draw on themes of supporting local people to bring about change and sustainable growth. Partners identified to collaborate on this initiative include the Helix, CVS Falkirk & District, the Third Sector Interface and the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA).

This project is a pilot and development phase from 2013-2015, and should join up with Phase 1 of the development of the Helix site.

Pilot Framework / Timescale

Works programmed  June 2013 to June 2015 managed by the partners identified above. Falkirk Council area has very few Social Enterprises.

The Parties are work jointly to promote and support the Helix Social Enterprise Zone in order to:

  • Promote social enterprise and a more enterprising third sector across the Falkirk Council area;
  • Encourage the start-up of new social enterprises;
  • Support the growth and improvement of existing social enterprises or enterprising third sector organisations;
  • Attract resources to support the above;
  • Influence policy in furtherance of the above.

Funding / Budget

Falkirk Council  £35,000 Helix £10,000 CVS £10,000 Green & Blue Futures  £34,000
Above funding is cash (not in kind ) to be spent on the project

Outputs

The project has supported 12 social enterprises through the funding application process attracting some £225,948 of grant funding investment to the Falkirk area. 77 individuals representing 31 organisations have completed training programmes with regard to specialised social enterprise business, start up, legal, development and sustainability support. 69 individuals representing 28 organisations have attended social enterprise information/awareness raising sessions and 1-1 legal surgeries. 24 aspiring social enterprises, 13 emerging social enterprises and 8 mature social enterprises have received business support. Of the 24 aspiring social enterprises supported 11 are now trading, 8 are in the process of setting up and 3 were unable to continue due to family and financial constraints.

Monitoring regime

As the budget holder and host of the development officer’s post CVS Falkirk has a robust financial management system with a dedicated finance officer who produces monthly management accounts that are presented to the Chief Operating Officer and the Board of Directors. Within the financial management system there is a clearly defined budget heading for the HSEZ project detailing grant funding and expenditure. Should any budgetary issues arise the HSEZ partners will be consulted in a timeous manner.

Monthly progress reports are produced by the Development Officer that are included in CVS’s yearly work plan and presented to the CEO for review.

Regular updates are provided to the HSEZ partners at monthly meetings to review progress against all outputs.

Pilot Outputs

The project has supported 12 social enterprises through the funding application process attracting some £225,948 of grant funding investment to the Falkirk area. 77 individuals representing 31 organisations have completed training programmes with regard to specialised social enterprise business, start up, legal, development and sustainability support. 69 individuals representing 28 organisations have attended social enterprise information/awareness raising sessions and 1-1 legal surgeries. 24 aspiring social enterprises, 13 emerging social enterprises and 8 mature social enterprises have received business support. Of the 24 aspiring social enterprises supported 11 are now trading, 8 are in the process of setting up and 3 were unable to continue due to family and financial constraints.

Inception of a Social Enterprise Business Incubation Pod

Local policy level involvement – member of the social enterprise strategy steering group tasked with developing a social enterprise strategy for the Falkirk Council area.

National policy level involvement – member of the Cross Party Working Group for Social Enterprise at the Scottish Parliament

Social enterprise trading activity mapping exercise designed, developed and analysis report pending.

Falkirk District Social Enterprise Network (FDSEN) established

Constraints / Requirements

The major constraint faced by the project was a lack of understanding of social enterprise as a business model within the local private and public sectors. Considerable effort was made to engage both sectors and to highlight the, economic benefit, opportunities for employment and training, community benefit and social change that social enterprises can bring to the Falkirk district.

Further work will be required to build upon the progress made with regard to raising awareness and understanding of social enterprise as a business model within the local private and public sectors.

Pilot Stakeholders

Karen Herbert – Chief Executive Officer (CVS Falkirk)
Jennifer Robertson – Helix Social Enterprise Zone Development Officer (CVS Falkirk)
Gordon Jamieson – Business Development Officer (Scottish Social Enterprise Academy)
Mike King – Programme Director (The Helix)
Andrea Bradley Priest – Business Engagement/Project Coordination (The Helix)
Pete Reid – Manager, Growth and Investment Unit (Falkirk Council)
Sally Wainwright – Policy Officer (Falkirk Council)
Richard Millar – Director of Heritage, Enterprise and Sustainability (Scottish Canals)
Recommended Design Delivery
Memorandum of Understanding developed by the HSEZ partners
Implemented by the Helix Social Enterprise Development Officer – Jennifer Robertson

Pilot Delivery Strategy

These works and outputs will be delivered via various methods:

  • Training programmes
  • Specialised business support/incubation
  • Information/awareness raising sessions
  • Engagement at national and local policy level
  • Social enterprise trading activity mapping and analysis (Falkirk district)
  • Development and implementation of a social enterprise strategy (Falkirk district)
  • Establishment of social enterprise network (Falkirk district)

Risks & Opportunities (additional to Green & Blue Futures outputs)

Opportunities

  • Raising the profile of partners and social enterprise
  • Enhancing Falkirk’s reputation as a great place for social enterprises to flourish
  • Developing innovative training programmes
  • Increased employment, training and volunteering opportunities
  • Greater understanding of the role of the Third Sector 

Risks

  • Lack of uptake
  • Sustainability of approach
  • Local Authority funding cuts

Future Cost Implications / Maintenance Requirements

Funding needed to sustain