Devon Start Up programme for social entrepreneurs

Devon social entrepreneurs

Devon social entrepreneurs - Credit: Devon County Council

A new, free support programme has been launched in Devon to help those who are unemployed or at risk of losing their jobs and considering starting their own social enterprise.

Devon County Council and The School for Social Entrepreneurs are working together on the Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme which aims to provide local people with the skills, confidence and support they need to establish a social enterprise and make a difference to their local communities.

Participants in the online learning initiative, which is made up of 10 weekday sessions spread over eight weeks, will have the chance to learn from experts and existing entrepreneurs.

These experts teach resilience, and create a supportive network of people who understand the challenges they are facing.

Devon already has one of the largest communities of social entrepreneurs in the UK today and they range from individual people working in their communities to large service providers like Livewell South West and Universities.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) provides support for entrepreneurs who want to set up businesses that are able to give back to people and planet through their activities or profits - social entrepreneurs.

The start-up programme is open exclusively to people living in the Devon County Council area who are unemployed or feel their current employment isn’t secure. It will take place from Monday, February 1 to Thursday,  March 25. Applications need to be submitted by Monday (January 18).

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Director of SSE, Dirk Rohwedder said: “Covid-19 has had devastating effects on communities around the UK and we are pleased to be able to support and empower people to rebuild the economy, and their community, in a way that is better for them.”

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “We’re committed to supporting a strong recovery for Devon’s economy and this initiative is an integral part of that.

"This Start Up Programme for Social Entrepreneurs is aimed at those who are looking for help to turn an idea for a new business into a reality. It offers practical guidance which looks to challenge and support people in getting a social enterprise off the ground.”

For more information visit Devon Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme 2021 webpages at

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