With ever-increasing cuts to public funding and growing competition for grant and philanthropic funds, many organisations are desperate to find ways to diversify their income. Understandably, the potential opportunities for diversification from enterprise or trading is often treated with caution or avoided. Building on from that, the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) has been designed to support small and medium-sized charities and social enterprises in their quest to find and develop a trading activity, whether looking to pilot, sustain or scale.
Practically, participants on the programme will gain access to a combination of learning and grant support to the transition of their trading activity. The learning support will importantly be tailored to the needs of individual organisations and combine both subject-experts and peer-to-peer opportunities.
But what if I’m not a social enterprise…?
EDP is open to supporting both charities and social enterprises and will be supporting organisations at different stages of their enterprise development (from pilot phase to needing support to scale). But equally, it is important to recognise that this programme is not for everyone. Some organisations operate in an environment where trading is unlikely to be possible or it doesn’t match the culture and skills of the team.
For those who are interested it is important to note organisations, as a minimum, need to have;
- already made a strategic commitment to, at least, piloting a trading activity, and
- a coherent idea for their trading activity (i.e. what the product or service is, and who is the potential market)
Our hopes and dreams…!
This is a great opportunity for organisations in the mental health sector to access the support needed to take their trading ideas and activities to the next stage. We are keen to bring together an eclectic mix of mental health focused organisations with varying geographies, stages of development, and enterprise models. This diversity will give participants exposure to new thinking and approaches, and potentially networks and opportunities. Additionally, it will enable a greater learning and legacy from the programme where we can share and promote workable enterprise models to relevant others in the mental health sector.
What to do if you’re interested…
If you’re working in the mental health sector, have a current trading idea or income stream and are interested in the above, then please visit the EDP website for more details. The first application window will be running from the Tuesday 28 January – Tuesday 17 March 2020.