Join us at the next Social Entrepreneurs Network. It’s a chance to meet other social entrepreneurs and those interested in becoming involved with social enterprise and it’s FREE.

Social Entrepreneurs NetworkSocial Entrepreneurs Network

The Social Entrepreneurs Network  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.

Whether you are an experienced social entrepreneur, an enthusiastic startup, or simply have a fantastic idea for the next great social enterprise, we would love to see you at our Social Entrepreneurs Network. Come along and share your passion for changing your community for the better. It is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, share ideas, successes and challenges.  This is a terrific opportunity to learn from and connect with fellow social entrepreneurs, community leaders, and relevant actors from public, private, and third sectors.

Thursday 14th September, North East Community Business Club Launch

The Social Entrepreneurs Network is Changing. Its going to be bigger and better, and free to join so come along to our launch event at Gilpin Rectory, The Broadway, Houghton-Le-Spring, DH4 4BB.


North East Community Business Club

The North East Community Business Club is a Network for local community businesses to share experience, knowledge and support each other to tackle difficult issues by exploring enterprising ways of working. It aims to be a way of inspiring individuals and community groups to start their own enterprise or to take the next step in terms of trading or social investment. Membership is free to join us at a meeting in your area.


Wednesday 12th April

The Community Café.


Promoting your Café

Getting the food right

Money Matters

Your people

Thursday 16th February, Failure Masterclass

Roxanne Persaud joined us to discuss her research of how social entrepreneurs approach failure.


My Mistake cost my Charity four members of staff and my Pride

My mental health magazine and the sadness of closing a social enterprise

Successful failure & the tyranny of shame



Tuesday 20th September, Official Presentation of Queen’s Award and Celebration of the Lead the Change Programme

After two years of the Lead the Change programme, which was what prompted Social Enterprise Acumen to start the Social Entrepreneurs Network, we celebrated the success of the programme. 38 social entrepreneurs have been awarded start up funding through our partnership with UnLtd and some of them shared their stories of change and impact in their communities and the people they work with.

It was also the official presentation by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion to Kate Welch to recognise her contribution to social entrepreneurship in the North East and further afield.

Queen's Award Kate Welch

Previous Networking Events:

June 28th, 2016 – Meet the Expert

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

We brought together a wide range of experts from different industries including investment, accounting, marketing and business development for you:

Kate Welch, Social Enterprise Acumen – Impact Measurement
Gemma Graham, Robson Laidler – Accounting
Helen Barlow, Online Studio
David Parker – Alpha Communication Marketing
Matt Cormack – Ward Hadaway (Solicitor)
Peter Gilson – Northstar Ventures (Funding)
Garry Stone – B2B North (Procurement)
Emma Frew – Social Enterprise Acumen (Business Coaching)


May 27th, 2016 – FUN Friday

Social Entrepreneurs Network


As part of the DurhamWorks programme, on the 27th May we invited our social entrepreneurs network to the launch of SEA Stars. Fun Friday is part of the SEA Stars course where social entrepreneurs, supporters and friends can spend an afternoon of developing creative thinking and problem solving techniques, and have an opportunity to connect with like minded people over pizza.

We spend the afternoon learning and practicing 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.

This is a weekly free event anyone can attend. Register here

April, 2016

We celebrated Kate’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.  As a sector and a network of individuals we have a lot to shout about so we invited people to share their milestones and successes.

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March, 2016





With the earlier time of 5pm we were pleased to welcome so many people to our last Social Entrepreneurs Network.

In March we were joined at the Sjovoll Centre, Durham by Chris Barnard who has worked as a manager and leader of community development trusts in the North East of England for 10 years. Championing enterprise and asset based development as a viable business model in the face of waning traditional grant funding.

Chris talked about his experience of social enterprise, challenges he has faced/overcome, mistakes made and a little bit about what he thinks the future holds.



In July, Jamie Sadler, from Food Nation talked about how Food Nation developed into a sustainable and effective social enterprise.

When asked “What is your greatest achievement?” Jamie’s response was  “Developing Food Nation into a successful social enterprise with a great team of staff and volunteers.”

Jamie leads the team at Food Nation as the Managing Director and generates ideas (some good, some slightly eccentric) to inspire people about good food and health.

Another great event with contacts and tips shared, inspiration gained and new connections made.

June 2015 Meeting

Hannah Underwood told us that she believes all young people have the power to be great.  The Key motivate young people to prove they can think, plan, do and review a project that takes them through a journey of discovery and skill development. They do it with just enough structure and plenty of freedom to make their own choices.  Hannah’s experience of securing funding and ensuring that The Key be sustainable was shared. The whole group were motivated and inspired but her enthusiasm and brilliant presentation.

May 2015 Meeting

The theme in May was ‘How do you respond when you see a need?’ Dori Beeler told how she decided to respond to the increasingly alarming issue of youth obesity. Gillian Fortune shared her extensive experience of the voluntary sector and highlighted some of the responses in her community.

April 2015 Meeting

Ideas Hive and Social Entrepreneurs Network got our heads together to host an event about sharing new ideas.

We heard from former guardian journalist and community journalism entrepreneur Sarah Hartley; Andrea Watts, founder of local community minded garage Andrea’s autos; charity founder and winner of the Sunday Times social entrepreneur of the year, Jessie Joe Jacobs and many more wonderful social entrepreneurs from the audience.

March 2015 Meeting

Ian HirstSpectrum Leisure and Community Centre talked about taking a leisure centre into community ownership and developing it into a successful Social Enterprise.

February 2015 Meeting

Joanna Clarke inspired and comforted us with her evidence based research on resilience. It is a tool we can learn and the success of her Social Enterprise, Petros is evidence that people are understanding the worth and benefits of these skills.

January 2015 Meeting

Allison McKay kept everyone spellbound with the story of how Humantics saved the Forum through commercial acumen and sheer persistence.

November 2014 Meeting

Paula McCormack was the inspiring speaker for our last meeting of 2014. Her topic was “Breaking Through”.

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