The short answer - The se² partnership is the partnership of organisations and networks supporting the development of social enterprise in the South East
Background & History:
The se² partnership is a unique model, formed bottom up by the merger of two un-constituted regional bodies, both which had a region wide social enterprise brief:
- A regional steering group - concerned with the overseeing of an ‘enabling strategy' , delivered via several European funded support programmes.
- South East Social Enterprise Network (SESEN) - the regional grouping of representatives of County (sub regional) Social Enterprise Networks.
The merger of the two bodies, resulting in the formation of the "South East Social Enterprise Steering Group", was in response to, amongst other factors:
- The wish to take forward the enabling Strategy - notably the wish to have ‘regional leadership resting heavily on local autonomy and delivery'
- The perceived need to have a ‘one voice' organisation that could legitimately respond, on behalf of the sector in the region on communication of policy matters and on developing strategy.
- The stated needs of sub regional or specialist bodies to be able to collaborate - sometimes requiring a regional constituted body.
In 2005, the South East Social Enterprise Steering Group published the first regional framework for social enterprise. This document highlighted a wide range of key actions required to successfully develop infrastructure that would support the evolution of the social enterprise sector in the South East.
This framework had three main objectives:
- Develop greater understanding of the role and value of social enterprise, so stimulating the market for their products and services.
- Create an integrated, easily accessible, business support infrastructure to encourage the creation and sustainability of new enterprises, from a diverse range of sources, and to support the development and growth of existing enterprises.
- Enable social enterprises to work together more effectively, opening up new markets through collaboration and innovation.
In 2006, SEEDA funded a 2 year project to establish a regional partnership for social enterprise in the South East, with the aim of addressing the objectives above.
Considerable progress was made and in July 2008 the company ‘Social Enterprise South East' was set up and registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee, trading under the brand ‘se² partnership'. The se² partnership therefore became a regional social enterprise support organisation and in effect, developed to become the 'network of networks' in the South East.
Today, the se² partnership acts as a regional 'hub' co-ordinating and supporting social enterprise development, providing a regional voice for the sector and an essential link for the social enterprise networks in the region. The model remains unique, with strategic direction being set by a proactive voluntary board who continue to work key stakeholders to develop strategies and deliver support that addresses pertinent economic and policy issues.
What do we do?
To find out more about what we do, visit our projects page for more info!