Free Business Advice Sessions in Exmouth and Broadclyst until Mid July

As stage two of our work with the Rural Growth Network we are able to offer free business advice sessions on a one-to-one basis for a small number of new clients in Exmouth and Broadclyst.  If you are, or you know someone who is, grappling with:-

  • identifying needs and opportunities….
  • community entrepreneurship….
  • establishing a co-op or social enterprise…
  • designing innovated solutions to issues in their community….

email or call her on 07811 152544 for an informal discussion to start with.

Make the Most of your Marketing – ESSENCE meeting 27 March 3.30pm!

Social Enterprise and Co-operatives group ESSENCE are meeting at The Generator at 11-15 Dix’s Field from 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm on Thursday 27th March. ‘Make the Most of your Marketing’ This meeting is focusing on getting the most out of your marketing on a small budget. There’s a hand-on ‘Writing Desk’ to support you develop your marketing in the session, to learn how both the Chamber and ESSENCE can support your organisation and to get the top tips and tools. This is a chance to share your expertise, learn from more experienced marketeers and support the growth of our local social enterprises and co-ops. So come along to catch-up and network with the group, find out about how to improve your marketing and benefit from the collective wisdom of our local entrepreneurs. To book on to this meeting please login to the website or email Please note that there is priority booking for ESSENCE members and social enterprises/ co-operatives.

‘The Social Value Act – how can social enterprises benefit?’ at the January ESSENCE meeting!

Social Enterprise and Co-operatives group ESSENCE are meeting at The Hub on the Green from 3.30pm – 5.30pm on Thursday 30 January.

The speaker is Kevin Balding, Head of Business Supplies and Services procurement, Devon County Council.

The topic is ‘The Social Value Act – how can social enterprises benefit?’ He’ll be covering key questions such as:

How the Value act is being incorporated into tender evaluations?

  • How can social enterprises position themselves in the strongest way to benefit from this?
  • What is the relative importance of the social value aspect versus competitive pricing?
  • What are the top tips on how to write a successful tender?

After this, there will be the opportunity for networking and catching up after Christmas.

To book on to this meeting please email Please note that there is priority booking for ESSENCE members and social enterprises/ co-operatives.

This meeting is free of charge for ESSENCE members and those who would like to try an ESSENCE meeting with a view to joining.

ESSENCE and The Chamber, Special Event, 10th October

It sounds like the title of a Harry Potter book but it’s our local social enterprise and co-operative network making the really positive move to come under the Exeter Chamber of Commerce. We’re delighted! It’s great news to have the marketing and administration clout of The Chamber and members benefit from extra networking opportunities, more events and marketing opportunities to other Chamber members.

There’s a special celebratory event on Thursday 10th October, 6pm – 8pm. For more details, click here


‘Like’ Co-operatives Conference: Friday 9th Nov, Exeter

Inspire your life in 6 hours! A stimulating event for young people, teachers, policymakers and co-ops to explore the benefits of the co-operative approach to working, living and learning.  Co-operatives conference – 9 Nov

This is a FREE conference for co-operatives and young people.  We are expecting about 120 people, so make sure you book as early as possible to ensure your place! To book, visit:

For Co-operative businesses, space for stands are also free and we’d encourage you to bring a display and/or literature about your co-operative (there is space for 20 stands but some may have to share a table).
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Two speakers at next ESENCE meeting

The next ESENCE meeting will now be on Thursday 30th August at 5.30pm until 7.30pm at the Hub on the Green. We hope to hear from both Viv Hignall of The Business Connectors Programme and Gareth Hart – Co-ordinator of Plymouth SEN and Director of Iridescent Ideas. We will be looking at taking the Exeter network of Co-ops and Social Enterprises to the next stage and planning the way ahead. If you are an Exeter based Co-op or Social Enterprise and haven’t already booked on contact