Plymouth Social Enterprise Network is a Network of social enterprises in the UK’s leading Place for socially impactful business.
A coming together of the amazing businesses in and around Plymouth who are using their business skills to put people before profit and create a better economy that takes care of the people around it and the world we live in.
In the face of turbulent times - cuts in statutory services, the cost of living crisis, the continuing repercussions of the pandemic and geopolitical upheavals - social enterprises are bridging the gaps, solving the problems, improving lives and providing the safety net that catches people when they most need it.
Social Enterprises can be anything - cafes, therapists, bee keepers, bike specialists, universities, or supermarkets... and they are all over this city! They work to support the people who need it, businesses like cafes who support people living with Dementia to have full, happy lives, community groups who own the vacant spaces around them, counselling services who create specially funded spaces to those who have experienced domestic violence or an art therapy group run by and for a neurodivergent community. This is just a few of them, you can find more on our website and through the fantastic rewards they’ve donated.
Why now? What’s so special about his festival?
This is our 14th year of running the festival, which has grown from an afternoon conference back in 2009 into a multi-day celebration of the incredible 200+ social enterprises in Plymouth. We curate a programme of events that highlight these enterprises and create opportunities for skill sharing, inspiring, learning, socialising, connecting, and profile raising.
2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the ‘Social Enterprise Places’ movement, and Plymouth was the first city in the country to be awarded this status by national membership body Social Enterprise UK.
Plymouth is recognised as a leading hotspot of social enterprise activity and has one of the largest socially beneficial economies nationally. We want to make the most of this national event to bring the amazing work and impact of these businesses to the attention of more people in Plymouth and beyond.
We want to further cement Plymouth’s recognition by inviting social entrepreneurs, policy makers and leaders from across the UK Places movement to see for themselves the incredible work of our members.
Why a crowdfunder?
PSEN is a CIC, owned by our member organisations. We run on a non-profit basis where our operational costs are kept to a minimum, covered by our membership fees and grants for conducting work which benefits the membership. Our last crowdfunder in 2021 provided the security to run 2 festivals (with sponsor support) and has kept our network events free and accessible to all our members over the last 2 years.
The festival is our flagship event, and with national attention this year due to our Social Enterprise Places anniversary, we want to bring the work of our members to a greater audience than ever by running bigger, more inclusive events.
We know there are challenges for all businesses, we want to run a wider, easier to access festival. We want to use this money to support smaller enterprises to get involved and to do more marketing and showcasing to support them in their growth moving forward.
We want to make sure that we keep as many events as possible free so that we can make sure we're reaching a wide range of communities and people.
We want to be able to bring in partners from national organisations to visit, exchange knowledge and support the growth of new and existing social enterprises with their skills and connections.
We want to be able to increase how widely we market the festival to really make sure the people of Plymouth know what social enterprises in their city are doing, and how those enterprises can support them.
We need YOU to help make it happen though - #DoingBusinessDifferently