University growth masterclass to benefit Leicester social enterprises

The University of Leicester School of Business (ULSB) is delighted to have successfully secured UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) to deliver a programme focused on growing the local social economy. The Growth Accelerator for Social Entrepreneurs programme is delivered in partnership with The Co-operative and Social Enterprise Development Agency (CASE) and Community Enterprise Engine (CEE) and is designed to support social enterprises to stay in business, protect and create jobs and grow productivity.

Leicester social enterprises signing up to the Growth Accelerator programme will have access to free expert training, tailored consultancy and support to grow their businesses. A significant benefit is access to a Growth Masterclass course delivered by experts from ULSB, covering types of growth, how to be strategic, development of a business case, creating income streams, team building, implementation and action planning. Social enterprises will receive 1:1 consultancy from experienced social sector experts to build on learning gained throughout the course, supporting them to turn plans into reality. CASE and CEE will connect social entrepreneurs with growth peer groups to share problems, crowdsource solutions and collaborate on new ventures.

ULSB is dedicated to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education and has access to cutting edge knowledge, business tools and strategies to grow social enterprises. The School conducts pioneering work in partnership with leaders, managers and businesses to build knowledge and skills to help enterprises develop and grow, and brings this expertise to the programme.

Professor Mohamed Shaban, Associate Dean (Business and Civic Engagement) at the School of Business said: “This prestigious UK SPF award brings together three partners with extensive education, enterprise, and innovation experience. Through the 'Growth Accelerator for Social Entrepreneurs' learning and support programme, we can upskill participants from social enterprises until March 2025. The programme's aim of improving the longevity, sustainability, growth, innovation, and productivity within the sector's economy will undoubtedly benefit many of Leicester's social entrepreneurs, and we're proud to be leading it.”

Well known and trusted within the sector, CASE exists to grow the impact of the co-operative and social enterprise economy through promotion of ethical and co-operative ways of working and has decades of experience in helping social enterprises to set up and thrive. CEE is a team of community innovation and development professionals with skills in funding, social enterprise and community building, supporting and creating inclusive, active, enterprising and sustainable communities.

Dorothy Francis, Co-Director of CASE, and Tobias Gould and June Gomes, Directors of CEE, said: "We are delighted to be part of this leading, innovative programme designed specifically for social enterprises in Leicester to sustain and grow their businesses. The partnership with the University of Leicester School of Business combines high level learning opportunities with tailored consultancy and peer group support for local enterprises.

The programme is designed to be responsive to the needs of social businesses, as well as enabling them to share expertise through peer group co-production, crowdsourcing solutions and building partnerships to increase sustainability. We welcome this opportunity to work with businesses to develop positive change and results for the social enterprise sector in Leicester."

The Growth Accelerator for Social Entrepreneurs programme will be delivered to social enterprises within the City of Leicester and is due to run until March 2025. Participating entrepreneurs must have been trading for at least one year. Get further information on the programme and benefits.