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Social Enterprise

Community Action Promotes Social Enterprise in Derby City

Community Action supports local social entrepreneurs, charities and voluntary/community organisations working in the city.

If you are interested in setting up a social enterprise or community interest organisation there are basic structures you can use.

Social_Enterprise_Basic_Structures.doc (43KB)

If you want to expand your primary purpose of trading, set up a trading arm and/or establish a community interest company, we can help.

Rather than you being reliant on grant funding our aim is to assist you to increase your services through independent trading, and winning public sector contracts.

How we can help:

  • Offering specialist mentoring support to individuals and organisations looking to explore social enterprise opportunities
  • Offering a single reference data point about social enterprise and those currently operating in the city - enabling organisations to undertake research and access best practice models / templates
  • Delivering specialist workshops and offering advice to develop your organisation, and help you achieve quality standards, and opportunities to work in partnership with others
  • Promoting and cultivating social enterprise in the City, enabling social enterprises to share best practice, and collaborate to bid for larger contracts via consortia working and aid sustainability
  • Offering corporate social responsibility opportunities through matching private business to social enterprises to work together to access new opportunities and aid sustainability

If you are thinking about starting up a new enterprise, or making changes to your organisation to become more sustainable, but are not sure what to put in place please contact us.

If you would like to discuss your organisation's needs email or call 01332 227716.

Social Enterprise Explained

Are you thinking about making changes to your organisation to become a Social Enterprise?

Are you a new Social Enterprise?

Then take a look at the advice below.

What_is_a_Social_Enterprise.doc (36KB)

Advantages_and_disadvantages_of_a_Social_Enterprise.doc (26KB)

Defining_your_ideas_-_a_template_to_get_you_started_on_the_idea_of_becoming_a_social_enterprise.docx (69KB)

Things_to_think_about_when_planning_for_your_Social_Enterprise.doc (40KB)

Legal_Structures_-_what_legal_structures_there_are_CIC_CIO_Registered_Charity.doc (43KB)

Loan_finances_-_where_to_get_help_and_advice_from.doc (316KB)


What_is_trading.doc (26KB)

Steps_to_trading.doc (49KB)

Unlocking your potential - a website has been developed to encourage you to realise your organisation's full potential through 'trading'.  A toolkit will:

  •  help you work out if trading is for you
  •  help you to explore ideas and plan to make those ideas reality
  •  tell you about other help this is available

For summary of the Unlocking Your Potential website or to use the toolkit to start your journey in becoming a Social Enterprise go to

If you would like to discuss your organisation's needs email or call 01332 227738.


Advice and Guidance - Contracts/Funding

See how you could improve your applications - work through the guides and tools in our advice, guidance and support section.

If you have any news or information that you would like to see featured please email.

Watch the free workshop how to write a winning funding bid on KnowHow NonProfit.

Tender and Contract

If you are a community or voluntary organisation in the East Midlands looking for the latest tender and contract to apply for, the links below are free and useful national, local and specialised websites of opportunities.

On the following sites you may also be able to advertise your organisation:

*Please note there are a many tender tracker websites that charge to search to 'track' tenders.*

Derby City Council

If you would like your organisation to be selected by Derby City Council to supply goods and/or services please complete the Buyers Guide Proforma:

Buyers_Guide_Proforma.docx (36KB)

How to find out if your ready to tender

To take check if your organisation is tender ready, take the Tender Ready Healthcheck


A - Z Support from Other Organisations

Here is an A-Z of organisations that may be useful for financial and/or business support and information.

If you have any information that you think may be of use and  would like to see it featured on our website please email for details.

Local Support

Business in the Community

Business in the Community engages professional firms and volunteers to provide mentoring support to community enterprises looking for assistance with strategic development.

They run two different programmes designed to support third sector organisations:

  • ProHelp
  • Business Champions

For more information visit their website

Connect Project

This project will support new entrepreneurs and small businesses in a variety of ways:

  • Provides high quality, affordable office accommodation and co-working space
  • Take advantage of the high speed Wi-Fi
  • Relax and connect in our bespoke cafe environment
  • Access to its mentoring and business support programme.
  • Programme of free events and workshops specifically for start up and growing businesses

For more information visit their website or call Sonia Chahal on 01332 258300.

Derby Coaching for Success

This is a business support programme to:

  • Support existing SMEs (Small/Medium enterprises - under 250 employees) in Derby to achieve their growth aspirations.
  • Provide Business Diagnostic Advice Service : Business Surgeries : Vision for Success Masterclasses : Growth Readiness Coaching : Growth Action Plan Coaching

For more information contact or visit their website

Derby Enterprise Growth Fund

Will accept funding applications from projects that demonstrate growth and create jobs. Will normally support up to a maximum of 30% of the total project costs.

For more information and to download the application form and guidance notes please visit: or call 01332 641628.

Invest to Grow Programme

This programme is designed to support established businesses to innovate, grow and create jobs through grants or loans. Will normally support 30% of the total project costs.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest please visit

MCF (Midlands Community Finance)

A Community Development Finance Institution and delivery partner for Start Up Loans. A Government backed national initiative aimed at people who want to start their own business or social enterprise. Loans start from £250 up to £20,000 over a 1-3 year term, at a fixed interest rate of 6% on loans over £2500 with no arrangement fees. Also provide business support and mentoring.

For more information

NEP Energy Services

Assist third sector organisations to become more energy efficient. They have worked with over 100 organisations including sports clubs and community centres. Support could generate cost savings on bills and making your buildings more comfortable for your customers. You will have saved money so you can channel this into service provision for your users

100% of NEP Energy Services profits are reinvested in public health and carbon reduction projects.

For more information visit:


(P.A.T. Testing - electrical appliances annual inspection and various training services)

  • Provides a professional and quality service - no obligation FREE quote where we will beat any like for like quote! We will also provide free advice about portable appliance testing
  • Deliver a range of training services which include courses such as Food Safety, Health & Safety and P.A.T. Testing.

Pace is a community interest company who deliver activities to adults living with a disability and or mental health condition and all our profits are used to benefit adults living with a disability.

For more information please contact the office: 01332 987621 or email or visit

The Bespoke Project

Energy reviews on energy efficiency for organisation based in Derby City.

Provides onsite energy reviews and support for businesses and social enterprises on energy efficiency looking at identifying cost and savings

Eligible organisations can apply for grant funding (90% up to £5000) to help with making any energy improvements including upgrades to lighting, heating or insulation.

For more information visit

The Business Advice Website

This website is designed to help identify local business support information to aid developing a business or starting a new business in Derby, as well as providing links to key national sources of information and support across the country.

For more information visit their website

National Support

Social Enterprise UK

The national body for social enterprise, membership is made up from social enterprises, private businesses, charities and public sector organisations who support our vision of a world where social enterprise is the usual way of doing business. They can:

Run effective campaigns for our members and to lobby on the sector's behalf. Carry out robust and respected research to help paint a picture of the UK's social enterprise movement Build networks between social enterprisesRaise the profile of people and social enterprises in the sector

For more information visit their website

Community Interest Company Regulator

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies decides whether an organisation is eligible to become, or continue to be, a community interest company (CIC). It is responsible for investigating complaints - taking action if necessary - and it provides guidance and assistance to help people set up CICs. They works with the Department of Innovation and Skills.

For more information visit their website

Government support and advice

This is the government portal for advice and guidance about setting up a social enterprise. It also includes templates required.

For more information visit their website


Partnership Working / Consortiums

Listed below are organisations who are interested in collaborative working, to deliver quality services, for the benefit of their customers and local communities.

Social Inclusion Consortium

An exciting voluntary sector collaboration for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Area - the Social Inclusion Consortium has been launched.

The Social Inclusion Consortium (working title) plans to increase in membership and will be bidding for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Big Lottery's Building Better Opportunities Programme. The founding members had this to say:

Kim Harper of Community Action said "This launch is the starting point from which to build the membership of the Social Inclusion Consortium. The issues to be addressed are complex, our geography is challenging and we need a structure that optimises opportunities for collaboration and localised delivery. We are confident we now have this structure. Plans would see different lead organisations/networks taking forward three key projects within one overall Building Better Opportunities Programme. Our member organisations, our networks and our strategic relationships are the building blocks for growing the Consortium and for high impact work to address social, economic and financial exclusion".

Jill Pateman of Bassetlaw CVS said "We have taken the learning and developments within the Big Lottery Transforming Local Infrastructure programmes one step further. We now have the foundations across our Local Enterprise Partnership area from which to build a genuine voluntary sector led bid. We are committed to ensuring that the grass roots organisations that work with excluded groups in the D2N2 area have the opportunity to apply their local knowledge and expertise to achieve the positive outcomes that our Local Enterprise Partnership is looking for".

Sylvia Green of Rural Action Derbyshire added "Infrastructure organisations have a leadership and development role in a defined area. We have joined together to spearhead an approach that would ensure European and Big Lottery funds benefit those furthest from the labour market and maximise investment in delivery via local voluntary organisations. We are focussed on the five priority groups that experience the greatest challenges and are working to sustain the vital role that voluntary organisations play in improving the life chances of excluded groups".

Helen Kearsley-Cree of Nottingham CVS explained "We have been working to the D2N2 Social Inclusion Framework. This was a significant piece of work led by One East Midlands and they will continue to act as a communications, engagement and influence link with D2N2. Looking across a number of other Local Enterprise Partnership areas our approach is in sync with how collaborations are developing there too. It's good to see how voluntary sector infrastructure has really stepped up to the mark".

This is an inclusive network so if you are interested in getting involved email Kim Harper or call 01332 346266.

Children and Young People Network / CYPN

The Children and Young People Network (Derby) CIC provides the opportunity for anyone involved in Children's Services in Derby, to share information with the aim of improving the lives of children, young people and families. They offer:

  • Support to the membership by promoting and celebrating their work
  • Bring in consultation and capacity building
  • Look at how to secure funding to continue the work of our members and ourselves
  • Developed a business offer and options for shared services.

Membership is made up from over 50 voluntary groups, limited companies, social enterprises and community interest companies. Currently 70% of the work carried out members is self-funded through sources such as earned income, sponsorship and fundraising. Members have 608 full time staff and 1156 volunteers throughout Derby city, who support children and young people from babies through to 25 year-olds.

Mission - Championing the voluntary and community sector in the delivery of children, young people and family services.

Aim - To develop the Community Interest Company (CIC) as an independent, thriving organisation providing two distinct service offers for members; a service offer and a business offer.

Anyone working in the Voluntary Sector with children and young people in Derby is welcome to join. For more information email or call 01332 227710.

Youth Forum

The Youth Forum in Derby is made up of Youth Workers across many different organisations and workplaces. The aim of the forum is to bring practitioners together to share our passion; explore good practice and to champion the voice of youth work. Ultimately working to improve the lives of young people. As a Youth Forum we structure our work around three areas Passion, Practice and Voice. We meet on a regular basis and theme the meetings around important issues that affect Youth Workers and young people.

To find out more information about this or any other Youth Forum event please contact Simon Williams on

The Health and Wellbeing Network

The Health and Wellbeing Network aims to ensure that the voluntary and community sector is more closely aligned with the arrangements for the planning and commissioning of services; overseen by the Derby Health and Wellbeing Board.

The network meet on a regular basis, so if you would like to attend or want further information about what they do please contact Kath on 01332 346266 or email

Anyone working in the Voluntary Sector in the Health and Wellbeing arena in Derby is welcome to join.

Southern Derbyshire Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum /SDVSMHF

We are a membership organisation, established in 2001, that provides support to voluntary sector organisations working to improve the mental health of people in Derbyshire. Their key aims and activities are to:

  • Enable the voluntary sector to become an equal and effective partner in the design and delivery of local services
  • Support the mental health voluntary sector to share and promote good practice
  • Inspire confidence in mental health provision across voluntary and statutory sectors
  • Build and develop the sector to meet new challenges and opportunities
  • Provide a support network for organisations and individual workers

The Forum was established because, whilst individual organisations were delivering effective services that were popular with the people who used them, there was no strategic direction towards investment in mental health voluntary sector service delivery. By working together through The Forum, member organisations have been able to develop a more strategic direction, and to talk to local mental health policy makers about how the voluntary sector can help them to meet national targets for providing better mental health services. This role for the voluntary sector as a key service provider in mental health is supported by Government legislation and policy.

SDVSMHF is a registered charity (Registration Number 1099282) and is currently an unincorporated organisation. Anyone working in the Voluntary Sector in the Health and Wellbeing arena in Derby is welcome to join. For more information visit this website

All these groups work in partnership with many other agencies in the voluntary, statutory and private sectors to improve the quality of life for people in Derby City.

If you want to find partners for a new initiative, contact Community Action and/or the most appropriate group here.

If you are looking for an individual organisation to partner with take a look at the Community Directory Derbyshire to access information for a wide variety of groups across Derby & Derbyshire.