News and Views

Gearing up for Growth with ESSENCE and ESBN

gearing for growth presenters

Our thanks go to the presenters who ran workshops at this morning’s event organised by Exeter Sustainable Business Network and ESSENCE (Social Enterprise Network) at St James’s Park – home to Exeter City Supporters’ Trust on of our Social Enterprise Members.  Missing from this shot is Alastair Banks from Optix Solutions who ran a great session on marketing.  You can see him in the post on here!

Seedbed, Dartington – new programme for social businesses

Introducing Seedbed: Support and investment opportunities for social ventures in the South West

What is Seedbed?

Seedbed is a new venture combining the expertise of Plymouth University, Dartington Hall, and South West Investment Group. Together, with funding from the Cabinet office, we will provide a programme of support plus social investment for developing social ventures in the South West. Continue reading “Seedbed, Dartington – new programme for social businesses”

Event: Forum for New Local Economies

You may want to join other activists, organisers, and changemakers from across Devon for a special event. Please put this in your diary – Devon Convergence: Forum for New Local Economies – February 7th, 9:30-4:30, Exeter.

With austerity kicking in, we’re facing a critical crossroads, but also a massive opportunity to lead progressive change right here in Devon. There are exciting community-led economic solutions emerging across the region, as well as effective strategies, innovative projects, and energetic collaborators. I’m inviting you to join us and see where it might lead and what new opportunities present themselves for supporting your work – our work, and because together we are more powerful. This event could be the turning point. Continue reading “Event: Forum for New Local Economies”

Rural Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme – Recruiting Now

Following the huge success of the North Devon Social Entrepreneurs programme that ran earlier this year, the School for Social Entrepreneurs has developed a tailor made programme for the leaders and key-change makers in third sector organisations and social enterprises in Devon. It’s free for Devon based entrepreneurs. Applications must be in by 12th December.

The Rural Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme will help you to:

  • Access new markets and customers
  • Develop new income streams
  • Increase your impact, services and products
  • And become more sustainable.

More details


ESSENCE, Exeter & the RSA: South West’s Social Economy – Ideas into Action

Wednesday 3 Dec 2014, 6.00pm – 9pm
Devon and Exeter Institute, 7 Cathedral Close, Exeter, EX1 1EZ

The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is a 21st century enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative and creative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to harness the extraordinary amount of untapped creative potential in society – by empowering people to be active participants in creating a better world.

With social enterprise at the core of the RSA South West’s development strategy for the next two years Ed Whitelaw, the Regional Chair, will talk about the growth of the social economy, partnership working with Plymouth Social Enterprise Network the current work of the RSA and what this might mean for our region over the next two years.

In partnership with ESSENCE as they build a campaign to establish Exeter as a ‘Social Enterprise City’, this joint networking event is open to Fellows, ESSENCE members and friends. 

For info, click here. For any questions and to reserve your free place, please email Saxon Spence,

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