Digbeth SE survey - A profile of social enterprise activity in the Digbeth/Highgate area

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There are over 50
social enterprises based
in Digbeth - dedicated
to using business for
social good.


Walks | Talks | Markets | Pop Up Cafes | Exhibitions | Entertainment | Jobs

Businesses which Focus on Doing Good

Social enterprises are businesses which trade with the primary aim of making a positive difference in the world. Typically they can be found working to support disadvantaged groups, address social issues, protect the environment, or provide goods and services which are needed but not considered commercially viable. There are currently over 50 of them in Digbeth. By choosing to buy goods and services from social enterprises, you – as an individual, public sector organisation, charity or another business – are helping them to achieve their objectives and make the world a better place.

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Collaboration and Creativity

Social entrepreneurs tend to be particularly creative and flexible in their approach – needing to problem-solve and be innovative in order to find ways of using business as a force for social and environmental good. They also tend to cluster and collaborate, forming networks and consortia that can offer a multi-faceted, in-depth, solution to a problem. Digbeth has proved to be a natural magnet for social enterprises, many of which are now working together within the Social Enterprise Quarter to increase their impact on both the area and the world beyond.

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Digbeth - A Vibrant Place

Digbeth was first settled in the 7th century. The area, close to the River Rea - now running underground, was chosen as the site of a market, which was the starting point for the growth of the city of Birmingham. It has always been a vibrant place – teaming with enterprise, industry and diverse groups of people. Today the area is particularly known for being home to the Irish community and the creative industries, but it is also currently developing a reputation for nurturing social enterprise. In December 2013 Digbeth received national recognition as a ‘Social Enterprise Place’ and was officially designated Birmingham’s Social Enterprise Quarter by the City Council.

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Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council:

“What we are seeing here is the ‘repurposing’ of Digbeth - the old factories and warehouses of Birmingham’s oldest industrial area given a new lease of life by social and cultural entrepreneurs committed to social change and social inclusion."