Set Up Your Own Community Support Business – Local Experts Show You How

A successful North Staffordshire social enterprise business – which was recently voted best in the UK – is encouraging local people to learn from their example and set up their own.

A social enterprise business is one that is run by local people, for local people and brings a benefit to the local community. The government defines social enterprises as ‘businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community.’

PM Training was set up in 1982 to tackle worklessness among young people.

It was recently voted ‘Best in the UK’ in the Third Sector Excellence Awards, beating off competition from 55,000 other social enterprises across the country. It is member of the Aspire Group, which also includes Aspire Housing and the Realise Foundation, the group’s charity.

On Thursday (18th November) a working lunch is being held at PM Training’s headquarters on College Road, Stoke-on-Trent.

It takes place between 12noon and 2pm.

Will Nixon, PM Training’s Chief Executive, explains: “We are inviting a number of Aspire Housing customers to join us for a working lunch and an opportunity talk to colleagues from two successful social enterprises.

“We will be showing what has made PM Training successful and we will be visiting the Hollybush Centre in Blurton, which also operates successfully as a social enterprise.

“We have a strong social enterprise sector locally, and this represents a thriving and enterprising contribution to the local economy.

“For example, this event would be ideal for a group of local mums who have been sharing childcare responsibilities and may be interested in taking this to the next stage by creating a local business.”

The two organisations represented on Thursday will be PM Training and The Hollybush Centre.

In the last 20 years PM Training has helped more than 10,000 youngsters find jobs or take up apprenticeships or work experience.

The Hollybush Centre in Blurton was created in 1997 by local residents. It delivers a range of activities and services to support local people including skills-training, catering, childcare, horticulture and youth work.

In addition, catering on the day will be provided by Bushtuckers, who are based at the Hollybush Centre. This locally-run catering business is another social enterprise success story.

The event is part of the UK Social Enterprise day 2010. This celebrates the achievements of the 62,000 social enterprises businesses in the UK which employ approximately 800,000 people and contribute over £24bn to the economy.