Latest News


Social Enterprise Acumen is proud that Mike Coleman, director of Hexham-based Core Music CIC, is one of the 2016 BBC Music Day’s Unsung Heroes. For the full story click here.core music


Social Enterprise Acumen is happy to support the New Social Enterprise ‘Meet The Expert’ Network.

networkOn June 30th, the pilot for the new ‘Meet The Expert’: Newcastle Social Entrepreneurs Network launches at St James’ Park. The aim of the network is to bring voluntary, charitable and social organisations together with local experts from different industries to share knowledge and accelerate business goals. If you are just starting your organisation or looking to increase growth, come along to find out how to increase social impact and optimise your operations.  The event will have a range of experts from different industries including investment, accounting, marketing and business development. We are excited to be supporting this new format of networking in collaboration with Cygnet Careers and to help accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship in the North East.

Fun Friday

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We are inviting you to join social entrepreneurs, supporters and friends in a fun afternoon of creative thinking, creative doing and problem solving. Learn and practice techniques including Appreciative Inquiry (Discover, Dream, Design, Destiny), Six Thinking Hats, Thinkertoys, Creative Whackpack, Mindmapping, Reframing, Insight, New Q Factor, Vanishing Leprechauns and Horses and Jockies. Meet like minded people who want to find new, sustainable solutions to social issues in their own communities and beyond.
We hope you can join us in our weekly activity afternoon for the young people on the programme.

Please click here for more information.





We are so proud to announce that our CEO, Kate Welch OBE DL FRSA is a recipient of The Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion 2016.

The Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion recognises individuals who have played an outstanding role in the promoting the growth of business enterprise and/or entrepreneurial skill and attitudes. There are 5 winners in this year’s awards and Kate is the only one in our region.

Press Release – Kate Welch Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, 2016


North East Social Enterprise Festival – NESEF 2016


We are so pleased to announce that the North East Social Enterprise Festival 2016 is taking place on Saturday 29th October at the Sage in Gateshead. We are currently compiling all the required documentation and will be distributing it soon.  If you want to book a place ahead of the official launch, contact Debbie via email or tel. 0191 3869785.

We want this year’s festival to be bigger and better.

Big Potential Advanced Fund

Social Enterprise Acumen CIC and UNW are approved providers for the Big Potential Advanced Fund. 

On Monday 13th July, the Big Lottery Fund launched the £10m Big Potential Advanced Fund. The new ‘Advanced’ route is an extension to Big Lottery Fund’s existing investment readiness programme, Big Potential. It will be supporting organisations at a more advanced stage in their social investment journey, looking to raise larger investments of over £500,000 as well as win contracts over £1m. The new advanced route will be available to those that are clear about how social investment could work for them and can describe a potential deal or interest from investors and need help to close that deal. Grants of up to £150,000 will be available.

For more information and to apply to either the Advanced or Breakthrough route go to Big Potential.

Social Entrepreneurs Network

The Social Entrepreneurs Network (SEN) is a free event open to all social entrepreneurs as well as people interested in learning more about social enterprise.  Catch up with fellow social entrepreneurs and share progress, achievements, and encouragement.


 Courses in 2016

Light the Fire VEN Social Enterprise: Light the Fire –  Are you passionate about social change? Have a great idea for improving your community? Need help turning your idea into action? This course is for people striving to improve their community but unsure of what practical steps to take. We help you identify and develop your strengths, encourage creative thinking about the resources at your disposal, and build a social enterprise model. There is no charge for this course. Anybody with an interest in community development and/or social enterprise is encouraged to sign up. This course is part of Lead the Change, a programme of support for startup social entrepreneurs run by Social Enterprise Acumen CIC in partnership with UnLtd. Lead the Change provides funded support for eligible startup social entrepreneurs.  Details of support will be provided during the course.

Would you like to attend a course in Durham?  Would you like to host a course? Just complete the form.

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Course Leaflet (PDF): Light the Fire NovDec2014



Past Workshops


On March 23rd – Free Digital Tools



Steve from ST Media ran a fantastic Hands On Digital Tools workshop.


On February 17th – Brand Discovery

Helen Barlow from One Line took our participants on a Brand Discovery Session.


On June 10th – Finding the Money


On April 22 – Getting Your Message Across – a practical workshop for Social Entrepreneurs

Are your frustrated by a lack of response? Do you feel ignored?  Are people confused by what you do?

Nancy answered these questions for the group of attendees and gave practical advice about effective communication.

Legal Structures Workshop: make the right choice (you did if you attended – thank you)


go-left-or-right-legal struct


On March 18th, 2015 Kate ran a fun and interactive session that helped the attendees work out what legal structure is right for their enterprise(s).

At the end of the session, the attendees were able to clarify the following critical factors – who is in charge, who makes decisions and should have a voice; the social impact; the means by which this will be achieve; where revenue is coming from – grants, earned income charitable and others; assets and what to do with profits.

“was excellent, very detailed and good content” course attendee.


On 25th February we were delighted that we were joined by Joanna Clarke PhD, C.Psychol., AFBPsS, EuroPsy HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist , from Petros. Jo is a regular speaker, both nationally and internationally on the subject of individual and organisational resilience. Jo discussed the tools that make the difference between thriving to surviving. “Resilient individuals have the capacity to respond and adapt to whatever comes their way“.  Additionally, Jo founded, and is the current Co-Director of Petros, a registered social enterprise. A wonderful event, enjoyed by all attendees.


Click here for details of 2014 events


Click here for details of 2013 events