Social Enterprise Acumen CIC provides capacity building support and advice to existing or would- be social entrepreneurs looking to develop their concept or grow their business.

Social Enterprise Acumen CIC is itself a social enterprise which works from its base in North East
England to show the strength of using business models to address social issues. It supports social
entrepreneurs and organisations that want to become social enterprises to start up, develop and
grow. It works closely with partners to create a stronger ecosystem to enable social enterprises to
flourish. We offer:

  • Business Planning
  • Financial Modeling
  • Investment Readiness
  • Bid Writing Support
  • Organisational Governance
  • Public Sector Procurement
  • Capacity Building
  • Community Development and Engagement
  • Coaching, Training, and Guidance

Social Enterprise Support

Social Enterprise Acumen CIC is an inspiration to the communities within which it works by developing and delivering programmes to create an enterprising culture.

It achieves this by:

  • Proactively encouraging enterprising thinking
  • Acting as a positive agent of change
  • Being a conduit for creative solutions

In doing this it helps to create a community culture in which everything is possible, and the latent aspirations of community members are realised.

We provide support to early stage and start up social enterprises through:

  • UnLtd Lead the Change Programme
  • Social Entrepreneurs Networks
  • Workshops and Coaching

We support and inspire existing businesses to be more socially enterprising.

  • Approved Big Potential Provider
  • Approved Provider for the Childcare Investment Readiness Fund

It is also an innovation and incubation unit for new ideas that meet a social or environmental need with a business solution and has created a bespoke model of support to test and roll out new social enterprises.

Practical resources – Workshops – Coaching – Consultancy – Research – Inspirational talks

Approved Provider of Big Potential and Big Potential Advanced
Approved Provider of Big Potential and Big Potential Advanced

109 Big Potential BIG lottery grant fund flyer Feb 2016

What is Social Enterprise?

UK Government: DTI (2002) definition

‘a social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners’

Recent Highlights

  • Last year Social Enterprise Acumen supported two hundred and thirty five early stage social entrepreneurs across the North East of England.  We support forty one organisations to become more socially enterprising, increasing their impact and sustainability. These include Community Centres, a Children’s Centre, Social Firms and Arts Organisations. Social Enterprise Acumen has also supported seventy individuals from a disadvantaged area with business planning support for their community based enterprises.
  • Social Enterprise Acumen led a strategic planning process with social enterprises in Cumbria who have formed Together 2 Change. Social Enterprise Acumen also led in the formation of a consortium comprised of group of social enterprises in the North East now called Contract North. The aim of Contract North is to pool resources in order to increase their capacity to deliver employability and other support to ex-offenders.
  • Social Enterprise Acumen continually works at a strategic level with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Tees Valley Unlimited and Local Authorities in the North East of England to look at the role of Social Enterprises in the economy. Amongst other community based activities, Social Enterprise Acumen is leading a social enterprise ecosystem project with UnLtd and other partners.

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