Rachel Crossey, Operational Development Manager
WOW! There is just so much to celebrate in the South East with lots of inspiring examples of
successful social enterprises - just where do we start!
The se² partnership has been on an incredible journey since it was unofficially formed way back in 2006 and it has achieved an awful lot! Formally incorporated in early 2008, the partnership has gone from strength to strength with considerable support from the partners, local social enterprise networks, Government Office for the South East and SEEDA.
Brimming with passion and energy the partnership, as a whole, has worked at the heart of social enterprise and dedicated itself to understanding and representing the needs of the sector, raising awareness and building profile, inspiring new social entrepreneurs, supporting the growth and development of some really super enterprises whilst continuing to support the development and learning of social enterprise advisers. The very difficult economic environment has provided some unique challenges along the way and we have proactively sought to respond to these changes in a thoughtful and strategic manner.
2010/11, in particular, saw the se² partnership at its busiest securing major projects with the Office of Civil Society and Capacitybuilders and leveraging funding into the region to support, develop and grow our regions enterprises. This has given us a real opportunity to add value and make an impact and in recognition of this, se² were named as the South East Regional Runner-Up of the Enterprising Britain competition 2010 for encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour and supporting skills development amongst the most excluded groups in society - an award that we are extremely proud of! You can read all about some of the inspirational social enterprises that we have worked with on our 'social enterprise in action' page.
Our approach to date has aimed to ensure that social enterprises are able to deliver lasting benefits and changes to their users/beneficiaries, however modest, in often very challenging and difficult circumstances.
I would like to thank the whole partnership for their commitment and unwavering support of our work in a year of many changes and look forward to 2011 and beyond.