SWEDA – Raise Project

SWEDA have been successful in gaining ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Funding to support new and established entrepreneurs / small businesses in the Black Country.

RAISE LogoRAISE will engage with disadvantage individuals across the Black Country and raise their aspirations of Self-employment and / or Social Enterprise Creation. Most new entrepreneurs do not have all the knowledge or skills to run their businesses in the early stages and often develop / grow by doing and learning from their mistakes. RAISE will give practical support to those considering self-employment and give them skills, knowledge and support / mentoring as they start and grow their businesses. Similarly some entrepreneurs will be more socially minded, but will need help with drawing on the strengths of the communities they are looking to help and advice on all aspect of such enterprises ‘local by design’ will be a feature of RAISE.

Working with the Business Growth Hub and other local strategic partners we can ensure that those gaining support through RAISE are aware of the wider help on offer both locally and nationally. Together we can create more sustainable businesses for the Black Country and have a positive impact on jobs and financial performance of the region. Enterprise is one of the cornerstones of local, regional and national strategic models without the creation of new businesses there cannot be a feed into growth and high growth businesses.

The individuals we will support often face multiple disadvantages, our project offers the extra benefit of looking at employment options where self-employment is not judged as viable and the skills acquired during our support would enhance the individual’s employability prospects and provide them and any employer with a greater appreciation of business practice.

NSDT Hosts Member Gathering

North Smethwick Development Trust was delighted to open its facilities at the Brasshouse Centre for hosting a regional gathering of fellow Consortium members and other Locality members across the West Midlands region for a focus on social finance on Wednesday 15 November.

With the support of Locality staff and Lisa Rushton, Lead Investment Manager from social investor Keyfund, colleagues were able to explore the intricacies and opportunities of social capital funding in general and community shares in particular.

A buffet lunch, with seating in the Brasshouse Café, and a stand up coffee break provided ample chance for delegates to network and exchange expertise, as well as comment on emerging developments such as the West Midlands Combined Authority and incoming news updates unfolding from Westminster as Spending Review  announcements were assimilated.

Networking at Brasshouse

With our commitment to community led enterprising approaches, access to social funding is vital to reducing grant funding reliance and of increasing importance to the work of Locality members in the region.

SWEDA – Skills and Opportunities Fund

SWEDA have been successful in reaching the voting stages of the RBS Skills and Opportunities Fund.

RBS are committing £2.5m to fund projects in charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges across the UK and Ireland. The focus for this funding is to support organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to help themselves; skills that will enable them to get into work or start a business, now or in the future.

After supporting deprived communities across Sandwell and the Black Country for the past 25 years, SWEDA are inviting votes to secure this funding to help them reach even more people and provide much needed support.

Voting closes on Friday 6 November and is straightforward. To vote for SWEDA, please visit.