The annual Plymouth Festival of Social Enterprise returns to Plymouth for one week over 17th – 23rd November. During Social Enterprise Week, many start-up and established social enterprises come together to gain practical enterprise tips and share success stories. There is a range of workshops and events and plenty of networking opportunities taking place at various venues across the city.
The week-long festival, part of national Global Entrepreneurship Week, highlights the rising success of social enterprises in the city, and emphasizes why Plymouth is one of only two social enterprises in the UK, sharing the coveted title with Bristol. Its reputation for outstanding social enterprises has been reiterated recently by David Cameron, who described Plymouth as “a beacon of social enterprise activity”.
Plymouth is a hot-spot for social enterprise activity in the UK and is developing as a global ‘social enterprise city’. It has one of the most active social enterprise networks in the country and Plymouth University is the world’s first officially certified ‘social enterprise’ university.
Ed Whitelaw, a Director of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, says, “We’re very excited to be a part of this year’s Festival of Social Enterprise. As a Social Enterprise City, it’s important that Plymouth is being recognised for the part it plays in supporting social enterprises. The broad range of events which are included in the festival this year reiterates the importance of this growing sector in the city and beyond, and the part that Plymouth is playing in its success.”
Devonport Guildhall, a social enterprise hub and cultural venue restored and managed by Real Ideas Organisation, is proud to support the festival and host some of the events.
Devonport Guildhall is a Grade I listed building, restored and reopened by RIO in 2010 it is now at the heart of the community once more as a social enterprise hub and cultural venue.
Open Mondays – Fridays from 9am – 5pm and Saturdays from 10am – 4pm, Devonport Guildhall hosts a wide range of events including conferences, exhibitions, weddings, funerals, fayres, workshops and more.
Find out what’s happening this year across Plymouth, and get involved. This is not an exhaustive list and events are still being added! For further information, please click here.
Monday 17th November
Tuesday 18th November
Wednesday 19th November
Thursday 20th November
Friday 21st November
More about Plymouth as a Social Enterprise City
There are around 150 social enterprises in the city working in a wide range of sectors including education, health, arts, environment, food, finance, housing, business support, sport, social care and many more.
Collectively these businesses employ around 7,000 people and bring in an income of over £500 million. There are mega-social enterprises such as the University, Plymouth Community Homes and Plymouth Community Healthcare but there is also a burgeoning economy of smaller businesses – 1 in 3 turnover under £50,000. The median turnover is around £100,000.