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Social Enterprise Start Up Support (SESUS)

SESUS was a free business start up programme providing support for anyone thinking of starting their own business or social enterprise in Cumbria. Existing businesses less than 3 years could also be eligible for this type of support.


A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested in the business or community. Village halls, Community Exchanges, village shops and other community groups are usually social enterprises, even if they don't think of themselves in that way.

Until early 2015 Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership (CSEP) ran a programme jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cumbria County Council, to assist individuals or groups to start a social enterprise. ACT was part of the Wingspan Consulting Consortium delivering the programme on behalf of CSEP.

Various rural community enterprises including village halls and community interest organisations (CIOs) were supported by the team of experienced and supportive advisers. The type of support included:

  • Setting up a Social Enterprise
  • Business Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Other Governance Issues

ACT's range of Workbooks about setting up and running an effective organisation can also help when setting up a social enterprise, selecting a structure, business planning and budgeting.

The CSEP website also has lots of useful information and you can read about Alston Moor, recently named Social Enterprise Town of the Year (2013).

SESUS is delivered in partnership with:



And is supported by:

         

Latest News

Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

13 September 2017

Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

Volunteers from six Community Buildings around Cumbria were presented with achievement awards by ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) at their recent AGM. Over 50 people attended the event at Sedbergh People’s Hall, celebrating the enormous contribution which Village Hall volunteers make to the communities they serve. 

Medical Services and Transport needed by rural people

8 August 2017

Medical Services and Transport needed by rural people

From the 1,000 responses so far in the Cumbria Rural Panel Survey, the top priorities are: access to medical services, the need for transport services and affordable housing. Good Broadband and access to a village shop are also scoring highly. The survey being promoted by ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is asking rural Cumbrian residents which services are important to them.  The results will be used to provide a focus for the discussions of the Cumbria Rural Panel. The survey ask respondents to pick three services, from a list of eight, that are the most important to rural life and then asks people to identify the one thing that would improve life in rural Cumbria.

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

4 July 2017

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is asking rural Cumbrian residents what services are important to them.  The brief survey being used will provide a focus for the first discussions of the Cumbria Rural Panel.

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

27 June 2017

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is encouraging households across the county to consider how to be better prepared in the event of an emergency and has produced a simple Household Emergency Plan leaflet to help.

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

4 April 2017

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

Volunteers from across the county have met with ACTion with Communities in Cumbria to discuss how village halls and other community buildings can be more resilient.

ACT champions community and rural issues, and sees community buildings as a critical part of vibrant, sustainable rural life. Funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund is supporting ACT to develop a toolkit to help community buildings manage risks and be more resilient.

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

30 March 2017

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

ACTion with communities in Cumbria is urging the Government to pledge £3 million in the Budget to refund the VAT paid by village halls on improvement work such as modern kitchen and toilet facilities and new meeting rooms. 

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