Highlights from the Digbeth Cheapside and Highgate Social Enterprise Network Meeting

It was a great meeting this morning, very informative and some fantastic networking with lots of new members mingling with longtime supporters.

Today’s participants included:

Sarah Crawley & Emma Nugent – ISE, Katie Thornley – BVSC, Sally Edwards – Spot On Marketing, Ian Mclaughlan – GBSLEP, Pat O’Neill & Paddy Benson – Pat Benson Boxing Academy, Martin Hogg – Citizen Click, Jayne Bradley – Edible Eastside/Kitchen School, Anita Harris & Phil Farrell – Changes UK, Damian Ward – Anthony Collins Solicitors, Saad Mohammed Sport 4 Life UK, Angela Braithwaite & Liz Armstrong & Helen Costa – BITA Pathways, Jenny Tocknell – National Express, Pauline Roche & Ted Ryan – RnR Organisation.

Today’s agenda:

Our speaker was Ian Mclaughlan from Greater Birmingahm and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP). He followed up from the previous meeting at which James Betjemann from Birmingham City Council presented re HS2. Ian provided information from the GBSLEP’s perspective, including opportunities related to supply chains and funding.

Ian mentioned that the revised GBSLEP strategic economic plan (SEP) is currently out for consultation and that they would welcome feedback – the deadline is the 9th September so please feedback asap – http://centreofenterprise.com/sep2016/

Ian also talked about the Business Growth Programme, which offers funding for businesses linked to different themes to support expansion and growth. Charities cannot apply.  For more information visit the website: http://centreofenterprise.com/2016/07/06/business-growth-programme-launched/#

After his presentation Ian took questions and we discussed opportunities related to HS2 for both the private and social enterprise sectors.  Issues around tourism, independent retailers, human resources and people, the story of Digbeth, and the strength of the DSEQ as a voice for social enterprise were discussed.