It is said that inside each one of us there is an entrepreneur and sometimes it just takes time to bring our inner entrepreneur to the surface. So if you have ever wondered how you could turn your social enterprise idea into a reality, then this blog is for you and may prompt your first step to making it happen.
In our blog this week we will be looking at “Better lives through enterprise”and some of the ways that social enterprise is being embedded within Adult Social Care in Leeds and changing people’s lives for the better. Think of The Apprentice but without Alan Sugar!
But what do we mean by Better Lives through enterprise?
Better lives through enterprise is about stimulating the social care market in Leeds beyond what’s already provided in the traditional way by statutory organisations. In practice this means providing older and disabled adults with a greater variety of services that are geared to respond to people’s specific needs. This approach is encouraging more community action such as volunteering and new small social care organisations.
Why is enterprise so important within Adult social Care?
One of the things that mark out an excellent local authority is being able to pick the best partners to work with; drawing on top local knowledge and expertise and supporting communities in different areas of the city to build up skills and experience. This helps everyone – the local economy, people who use services and those who provide them. So we’re encouraging a whole range of different kinds of enterprise to develop in the care market. We’ll be looking at private enterprise, social enterprise, co-operatives, user and employee led organisations, voluntary and faith sectors too.
We want to make sure people have a wealth of different care options provided by groups and organisations who know their local communities well. There are several underlying factors that have contributed to the need for greater enterprise in Adult Social Care:
- The demand on our services is set to increase in line with the growth of our population
- We need to work together as impending cuts to public service provision means that current services are not sustainable in the long-term.
- There’s a renewed impetus to find more innovative ways of providing adult social care services by looking at the rich resources that already exist in our city.
What are we doing to ensure that people’s lives are better through enterprise?
We’re responding to the needs of local people and organisations by;
- Developing a more diverse care market;
- Developing corporate social responsibility; and
- Building community capacity
An example of the types of enterprising activity we are developing include “Ideas that change lives -Investment and Business support fund”. Funded by Adult Social Care, the Ideas that Change Lives enterprise supports social entrepreneurs who are starting out on their social enterprise journey. There are two types of awards available through the fund – a Kick Start grant of £2000 and a Start-Up Investment of up to £10,000. Ideas must demonstrate how they support some or all of the following people in Leeds to live an independent life:
- older people;
- people with a physical or sensory impairment;
- people with a learning disability; and
- people with mental health needs.
Ideas that Change Lives look for business ideas with a clear social purpose (helping communities and individuals) and which aim to stay in business mainly through generating income from customers. There are already great examples of this initiative working city-wide which we will share with you this week.
To find out more about “Ideas that change lives”, we interviewed Rob Greenland their co-director for his thoughts. Click here to see what Rob had to say.