Branding for ESENCE! 26 April

The next meeting of Exeter Social Enterprise and Co-operative Enterprises will be on the 26 April at Exeter Real Food Cafe between 5.30pm and 7pm.  We are lucky to have as our guest speaker for the first of this series of 3 meetings, Jonathan Alder, from Alder and Alder.

Jonathan is a Director at Alder and Alder. He specialises in working with ambitious organisations to help them achieve their goals and objectives. The secret to this is helping them to communicate better, and turn their passion into success. Jonathan helps organisations to communicate more effectively by making better use of their brand. Alder and Alder are currently working with a number of non-profit organisations, including Hospiscare and YouGen. At our event Jonathan will distil 22 years’ experience into 30 minutes, to help you understand your brand, and how to unlock its value.

If you are an Exeter based co-op or social enterprise and wish to attend please email Debbie as we need to know numbers.


Big Society Capital launched today

This press release was issued by the Cabinet office today. What we’ll all want to know in 6 months or a year is how effective it has been!

Big Society Capital – a groundbreaking £600 million institution – will be launched by the Prime Minister today. Its mission is to grow a new market – social investment – and so make it easier for charities, social enterprises and community groups to access affordable finance. In turn, this will help them innovate, expand their services and develop better solutions to social problems. Continue reading “Big Society Capital launched today”

Exeter City Council supports social enterprise for 2012/13

We are delighted that Exeter City Council are continuing the support for free social enterprise advice for the year ahead.

Through funding from the Council, The Fruit Tree for Business has been providing social enterprise business advice and complementing the activities of Exeter Business Support, which assists the start-up and growth of small commercial businesses and sole traders alongside the Innovation Centre. Exeter’s business support offering covers the needs of private sector , social entrepreneurs, co-operatives and social enterprise. Continue reading “Exeter City Council supports social enterprise for 2012/13”

Get Growing Workshops from ECI

Get Growing is a series of practical hands-on workshops, designed to give would-be Exeter growers on low incomes the skills and confidence to create and care for a vegetable garden. Participants will also have the opportunity to join a group of volunteers maintaining Harvest’s allotment plots and growing food for themselves.

The sessions will follow the growing cycle as we plan, prepare, plant and care for our allotment. Each session will be led by an expert grower. Sessions are held on Saturdays from 10am – 3pm at Cowick Lane Allotments, and cost £5. Some free places are available; please enquire to find out if you are eligible by ringing Andi Tobe on

Tel: 01392 205800 Ex 212

Workshop 3: Starting From Seed
Saturday 17th March, 10.00am – 3.00pm
Tutor: Greg Towning
Early sowing and planting out techniques for successful food growing. We’ll have the opportunity to get some hands-on experience of sowing seeds and pricking out techniques, as well as learning about what to start when and much more.

Workshop 4: Caring for your Garden
Saturday 12th May
Tutor: Greg Towning
What to do about pests and diseases, taking care of your plants, maintaining soil fertility, keeping everything healthy and growing well.

Workshop 5: Harvesting and Feasting
21st July 2012
Tutors: Andi Tobe and Ellie Parker
Last but not least – enjoying the fruits of your labour! How to bring in the harvest, how to know when it’s ready, and most importantly – what to do with it when it’s picked. We’ll be picking, preparing and cooking our own produce on the allotment.


New Co-op launch, opportunity for women in business, mid Devon

Spring sees the public launch of a new Mid Devon based co-operative group for women who have, or are starting up, their own businesses. “Women Forward” has developed from a Community Council project, and on March 13th (6-8pm) current members will be serving wine & canapés at Tiverton Town Hall to any women who would like to register their interest or to find out more about the group.

Membership of the group provides the opportunity for training, mentoring, skill sharing and support from other women, creating joint promotional activities and networking both locally and in the wider field.

Said Joslyn Mottershead, the chair of Women Forward,” Attendance at our monthly meetings shows how vital networking is for our rural business women. In today’s climate we need all the support we can get, especially from those who understand the the live/work balance aspect first-hand! On March 13th we hope to raise our profile in the community and welcome new members on board.”

Joslyn can be contacted at


Celebrate the Launch of Fairtrade Fortnight, Exeter

Celebrate the launch of Exeter Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 at @34Exeter College’s fine dining restaurant 23rd February 2012, 7.30pm – 10pm. Join Fairtrade leaders for dinner created from Fairtrade and sustainable products served by the new Michael Caines Academy students. Menu and Invitation

To purchase or reserve tickets please contact Exeter College direct at or ring 01392 205418.  Exeter College is located opposite Exeter Central Train Station  (see for directions) and the nearest car park is Mary Arches Street (see

Social Media Training Courses, Devon

Spring training Series

Cosmic’s spring training series concentrates on helping businesses and organisations build their own website, improve your visibility in Google and join the Social Media revolution and all before Easter! We’ve tried a couple of these courses and found the tutors are great!

Book online today or call us to find out more – 0845 094 6108

All courses run from 1.30-4.30pm – £50 + vat

If you are over 19 and live in Devon you may be eligible for 1 free workshop. This offer is limited to one free workshop per person.

Build your own Website Tuesday 17th January 2012

A step by step of how to build a simple website

Search engine optimisation Thursday 16th February 2012

How to improve your Google listing

Introduction to Social Media Thursday 15th March 2012

Learn about social media and what it can do for your organisation or business

Getting to grips with Twitter Thursday 19th April 2012

Set up and be proficient on Twitter within an afternoon

Courses delivered at Cosmic HQ at East Devon Business Centre, Honiton within easy reach of the A30 and train station.  Find us at

Contact us on 0845 094 6108 or email


Exeter Charity, PORT-ER on Celebrity Wish List

Congratulations! Really delighted to see this. For anyone who doesn’t know about the great work that Exeter client, Diana Corrick does, please do watch this. Celebrity Wish List Channel 5 featuring PORT-ER

PORT-ER’s Trustee Colin Edwards and CEO Diana Corrick were delighted to be surprised by celebrity Sharon Davies at the exhibition as part of the Celebrity Wish List Channel 5 program who made some dreams come true with some really great gifts.