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Smart Communities

About the Enhance Social Enterprise Somerset network

Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it is what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive social change. Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies. Famous examples include Big Issue, Divine Chocolate and the Eden Project.

 We are creating an active peer-support network for social enterprises in Somerset.

 Our vision

Our vision is a more socially enterprising economy in Somerset.This means an economy that supports strong local economic activity that promotes the well-being of people and planet; one that reduces inequality and one that finds ways to restore and regenerate our natural world.

We think social enterprises in all their forms – such as co-ops, community businesses, trading charities, community interest companies and more – can help create this economy.

As a partnership of social enterprise networks, we work to support the development and growth of social enterprises creating a strong network through sharing our knowledge and resources.

Our aim is to create a supportive environment in Somerset where social enterprise can flourish. Membership is open to social enterprises of all sizes and at all stages of development, across a wide range of business activities.

Our network will:

  • Serve as a peer support opportunity for members, where they can share experiences and advice openly.
  • Enable members to share information about investment, contracting, business opportunities and emerging policy information.
  • Ensure members have as much access as possible to information which will help their businesses.
  • Create an informal but business focussed environment encouragingtrading between members and other social enterprises.
  • Engage with policy makers, funders and other strategic partners – to lobby, challenge and provide input into relevant agendas. Social Enterprise Networks across the country provide strong advocacy on behalf of the sector. They work with councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships, educators, other funders and decision makers to ensure that social enterprise features in their planning and policy making. This is a key aim of our network too, to ensure social enterprise can flourish across our county.
  • Promote the online Social Enterprise Business Directory widely and work with national organisations to build on local awareness of campaigns such as ‘buy social’


The network is in its development phase and we want it to be shaped by the membership so it meets your needs, so getting involved you can be part of this.

Join our network and:

  • Connect with other organisations like yours through sector-specific, local meetings and training.
  • Claim your free listing on the Enhance Social Enterprise Business Directory promoting and connecting social enterprise widely across Somerset and Devon.
  • Access the members only Facebook Group, talk to others, share ideas and resources.
  • Access free tools, resources and advice.
  • Promote your organisation at meetings, through our Enhance website & social media.
  • Attend network meetings to catch up, update, share and learn.
  • Learn from regular e-news updates.
  • Benefit from 10% discount off the cost of your first year’s licence for any accreditation from Social Enterprise Mark CIC, worth between £15 and £1,400 depending on the size of your organisation and which accreditation you apply for.
  • FREE Membership currently for Somerset-based organisations!

Who is the delivery organisation:

Smart Communities team is part of the Community Council for Somerset and are the delivery partners for the Enhance Social Enterprise Network in Somerset. Smart Communities Limited (SCL) is a Company Limited by Guarantee, No. 11480430 and VAT Registered No.311926619, created in 2018 as a subsidiary of Community Council of Somerset (CCS).


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