FIRST EVER FORUM HAILED A SUCCESS; Group Aims to Improve Skills of Social Enterprise Advisers

Article excerpt

Byline: Jenny Waddington

COVENTRY and Warwickshire's growing social enterprise scene received a significant boost with the launch of the first ever forum designed to increase the skills and knowledge of the sector's specialist advisers.

Organised by the Social Enterprise Centre of Expertise as part of its capacity building and supply development work, the new group met for the first time and immediately promised to extend the level of business support being delivered to the area's rapidly increasing number of social entrepreneurs.

Advisers from eight organisations, including local specialists Coventry and Warwickshire CDA, attended the inaugural meeting and discussed issues around more personal development opportunities, bringing in specialist knowledge on key issues.

Laurence Green, skills development broker at SECOE, said: "One of my first roles was to gauge the provision available for social enterprise in Coventry and Warwickshire, both by researching and meeting many of the specialist agencies out there. This raised the question of 'who is supporting the supporters' so to speak.

"This forum will act as a peer network of people committed to helping social enterprises realise their potential and we will look to share best practice, examine current working policies, analyse current and future trends and importantly look at how we can help the specialist agencies develop. …