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Social enterprise

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Leeds has a vibrant social enterprise sector which the Council is committed to helping to grow.  We work in partnership with Leeds Community Foundation (www.leedscf.org.uk) and Voluntary Action Leeds (www.val.org.uk) who provide grants and assistance to the sector.

We provide part of the funding for the Community Foundation's Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Programme, which has been designed to stimulate and support the growth of social enterprise in the Region and promote a strong, local economy.  The programme has been created by the Community Foundations in Leeds, Calderdale and South Yorkshire, in partnership with ERDF and Key Fund. The aims of the Programme are to:
• promote a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship within third sector organisations, particularly those that are in the most deprived communities in the region
• help establish and support new social enterprises, as well as providing support for existing ones to grow, and
• increase involvement of the private sector, and successful entrepreneurs, in supporting the development of social enterprises through financial support and the provision of business and professional expertise

The programme consists of financial and practical support for social enterprises including:
• a database of useful contacts
• advice and templates to help you develop your business ideas
• small grants up to £5,000 to support the development of enterprising ideas and plans
• a combined grant/loan scheme for investments up to £100,000 to support well developed business plans
• funding to cover specialist advisory costs in areas such as business planning, marketing, leadership, HR and governance
• pro bono support from the private sector
If you’re a community group with a good business idea, or an existing social enterprise looking to develop your plans, the programme would love to hear from you.  You can find out more at www.yvpp.org.uk.

There is specific support for social enterprises who deliver services to the clients of our Adult Social Care department.  For more information see ideasthatchangelives.org.uk

The Council also offers discretionary rate relief to non-charitable social enterprises (see "Related Pages" below), and has an active Community Asset Transfer programme.

Sector specific advice and support is available through Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber (www.seyh.org.uk), the national Social Enterprise Coalition (www.socialenterprise.co.uk), and the Business Link website (http://www.businesslink.gov.uk)

The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund is a new £10 million fund, managed by The Social Investment Business, on behalf of the Office for Civil Society that aims to ensure social ventures are better equipped to secure new forms of investment and compete for public service contracts.  The Fund will provide grants to social ventures that have the potential for high growth and delivering positive social impact for the purchase of specific capacity building support to help facilitate that growth.