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Development of a Social Enterprise Zone

Scottish Canals and Hainaut will jointly develop the concept of a virtual Social Enterprise Zone (SEZ) This will be informed primarily through the work carried out in Scotland (at the Helix social enterprise zone) and the pilot activities managed by Hainaut. Other G&BF partners are contributing to the content of the SEZ and it is intended that this area will host information about good practices, case studies, and success stories that partners and others outside of the project can learn from.

Scottish Canals work re the enterprise zone at the Helix/Falkirk was discussed and this will feed into the wider ‘virtual’ zone. The concept was explained and discussed further at the Birmingham meeting. The agreed route was to share practices online (an SEZ page on the G&BF website) and to agree this route with partners at the SG meeting

Outline proposal for transnational virtual Social Enterprise Zone

This Action has been discussed and ideas for the format of and what to include in the virtual SEZ took place at SG meetings and the Birmingham workshop. However no concrete outputs are available yet.

CRT and SWT have been the most active in the planning stage of this and the concept was discussed at the LP visits to Scotland to visit SWT and Scottish Canals. The format for the
Scottish Canals work re the enterprise zone at the Helix/Falkirk was discussed and this will feed into the wider ‘virtual’ zone. The concept was explained and discussed further at the Birmingham workshop.

In addition to attending the SG meetings the LP visited Scotland to discuss Scottish Canals Enterprise zone at Falkirk as well as SWT’s trainees work and their ceremony passing out of the
Canal College to receive accredited certificates. SWT’s Canal College courses have gone well and G&BF partners have gained valuable insights into the recruitment, social, and motivational
issues faced by organisers of such courses.

Scottish Canals are involved with– Helix Project Social enterprises which were established outside of G&BF but looked at analysis/grouping of these to include as template enterprises for the Social Enterprise Zone.

This was progressed at the Steering group meeting in Scotland (June 14) where partners participated in a Social Enterprise workshop. Case studies looked at (a) Scotland’s social enterprise zone – and the Social Enterprise Academy (b) Stourport Forward 2005 to 2014 (c) Canal Connections work with educational outcasts. A Northern Irish enterprise Spring Vale talked about how to grow, sustain and scale up social enterprises. Former CRT manager Tony Harvey talked about the value of Social enterprises delivering works for organisations such as CRT
compared to using term contractors.

Scottish Canals are populating the Social Enterprise Zone (SEZ) at the Helix site with currently a mixture of 6 mature / well established, enterprises, 2 emerging, enterprises and 3 aspirational, enterprises. The partner is working with the Social Enterprise Academy and others based in Falkirk to encourage new Enterprises to set up and base themselves in the SEZ at the Helix site.

Hainaut continue to successfully run their well-established bio gardening enterprises - adding accreditation to their beneficiaries. They worked with with Réussir en Sambre to analyse Action 5, and ways to develop resource centre together. A day of exchange of good practices took place in the Maubeuge region between these two partners.

A delegation from Hainaut including trainers visited two public actors involved in social inclusion and biogardening.

Hainaut and Scottish Canals (SC) worked to move along the Virtual social enterprise zone. Hainaut prepared an “Outline proposal” for this which was discussed in a conference call with Richard Millar of SC. The agreed route was to share practices online (an SEZ page on the G&BF website) and to agree this route with partners at the SG meeting