Social Enterprise City Festival

Emily Smith caught up with Gareth Hart, Director of Iridescent Ideas CIC to talk all things Social Enterprise City Festival. Crowdfunder will be taking part in the festival and delivering a talk on funding for social enterprises with Gareth. To book your place click here. 

The third annual Social Enterprise City Festival takes place in Plymouth – the national heartland of social enterprise – from November 16th to 23rd.

Growing from a modest one day event in 2011, this year there are 20 events spread over eight days comprising: launches, lunches (including one with a BBC star), conferences, competitions, debates, receptions, a party and even a pub quiz in a social enterprise pub. The festival will highlight the work of some 150 social enterprises in Plymouth that collectively employ around 6,000 people and bring in £500 million to the local economy.

Iridescent Ideas CIC is thrilled to be a key sponsor of this prestigious event. Last year the festival attracted over 500 people and gained national publicity for the city. We hope this year attracts even more.

The theme for this festival is ‘public engagement’. We need to create millions of conversations about social enterprise and make it more consciously part of everyday life. That means talking about social enterprise in the supermarket, at the school gates, in sports halls, over the office water cooler: anywhere that people talk about life and work.

Within civic and business sectors we know the impact social enterprises are having in supporting economies, improving environments and changing peoples’ lives for the better. However, if we want to continue to build on this success, social enterprise needs to move out of the sidelines.

The Eden Project, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurants or Divine Chocolate are internationally celebrated, iconic social enterprise brands. We are striving to help Plymouth be the fertile breeding ground for the next one of these. We challenge people to come up with amazing ideas that could be the next social enterprise super-brand. Iridescent Ideas would be delighted to support such a venture financially and with advice and expertise.

This year’s festival is particularly special as the city also celebrates its new status as one of the UK’s first ‘Social Enterprise Cities’. Recognised by Social Enterprise UK as a national leader in researching, teaching and doing social enterprise it is only right that Plymouth hosts the UK’s biggest social enterprise festival.

Social Enterprise City Festival 2013 is delivered by the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network and a wide range of public, private and social enterprise sponsors, supporters, partners and funders. All have helped make 2013 a great year for the city.

Business has the power to be a driving force for social, environmental, community and economic benefit in the world. We hope that the festival, and being seen as a social enterprise city, will stimulate a public debate about commerce in Plymouth. At Iridescent Ideas we want that to be more sustainable, more balanced and less environmentally damaging. We strive to provide great business advice services that help people turn bright ideas into fabulous ethical business that can change the world for the better.

We invite you to enjoy the festival, to learn, to network, to trade, to celebrate, to laugh and even to dance. See you in November!


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