The Social Enterprise World Forum is celebrating its 10th birthday this year by returning to Edinburgh 10 years on from the first ever SEWF event that was held in the city. The past 10 years have cemented SEWF as the global organisation that aims to help build and develop the social enterprise sector and Edinburgh seemed the perfect place for the 10th anniversary of the forum’s events, to reflect on the fantastic development of our sector.
In the run up to the SEWF various cities and regions around the UK prepared study tours, to highlight the amazing work and social value that is being created by social enterprises from the highlands of Scotland to inner-city London. As the latest city in the UK to be awarded the status as a Social Enterprise City we decided to arrange our own social enterprise study tour in Birmingham, focusing around Digbeth and our social enterprise quarter.
We were visited by Social Entrepreneurs from Singapore and Taiwan, who came to visit Digbeth and learn about the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter and the high concentration of social enterprises within our locality. We visited a variety of different social enterprises that provide different services for the people of Birmingham.
We first visited The Arches Project, a self-funded non-profit organisation that has been providing a platform for artistic talents, emerging and established artists of all disciplines to showcase their work. We then moved on to Pat Benson Boxing Academy (PBBA), to learn about the club, both in its competitive capacity as well as a community club, that runs free a variety of programs including mindfit, a program to help people with mental illness to use fitness to improve their physical and mental well-being. Next, we visited Changes UK to learn about their incredible work helping people with addiction issues recover and stay in recovery through their unique recovery program. Finally we headed back to the iSE offices to meet with Citizen Coaching to hear about their work around counselling in Birmingham and the amazing work of Citizen Click who support the web development of many of Birmingham’s social enterprises.
Thank you to our guests for coming to visit Digbeth and thank you to all the social enterprises that we visited, you are some of the best of Digbeth and of our sector