Social Enterprise Acumen CIC is pleased to be partnering with UnLtd to deliver the Lead the Change programme of support, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The Lead the Change Programme encourages people to be confident about starting a social enterprise, provides support to emerging social entrepreneurs and helps them to turn their passion into sustainable social ventures.

Esmee Fairbairn FoundationUnLtd

Celebration of the Lead the Change Programme

Tuesday 20th September, 5pm – 7pm

Join us for a celebration of two years of the Lead the Change programme which was what prompted Social Enterprise Acumen to start the Social Entrepreneurs Network. 38 social entrepreneurs have been awarded start up funding through our partnership with UnLtd. Some of them will be sharing their stories of change and impact in their communities and the people they work with.

It will also be the official presentation by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Kate Welch to recognise her contribution to social entrepreneurship in the North East and further afield. We have lots of good news to share, great people to meet and a chance to find out more about social enterprise and how social entrepreneurs are changing the world.

Aims of Programme

  • Creation of a “Network for Social Entrepreneurs”
  • Encouraging those thinking about social enterprise to take the first steps
  • Enabling those starting up to be more successful and make their journey easier
  • Building an evidence base to help current and future social entrepreneurs
  • Providing training to social entrepreneurs designed to meet needs not addressed elsewhere.

Successful Award Winners:

Award winners


Components of Programme:

Light the Fire Course

The initial course is designed to motivate those thinking about social enterprise to take the first step. It will help them to investigate the options, support and encourage them to get started, and enable them to make the most of opportunities to thrive. More information

Social Entrepreneurs Network

This will enable social entrepreneurs to:

  • Network with like-minded people
  • Share best practice
  • Build up common resources and information

More information


  • Coaching
  • Training & workshops – short courses in finance, planning and any other subjects requested by social entrepreneurs.


The Lead the Change programme works with aspiring social entrepreneurs in County Durham and the North East providing start-up funding, developing skills and capacity, testing and exploring different support models and helping social entrepreneurs grow and change their communities for the better.

If you have an idea for a product or service, a creative solution or opportunity you’ve sensed that can be developed into a sustainable social enterprise, you may be a candidate for Lead the Change funded support.

The programme was launched at the Social Entrepreneurs Network event on 23 September, 2014.

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