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Low Carbon Social Enterprises

Supporting Social Enterprises and the Low Carbon Economy

Partnership with Middlesex University (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) and Social Enterprise East Midlands (SEEM)

Impact highlights: Strong contribution to understanding the environmental social enterprise sector through market research with related academic outputs (publications include article in 3* ABS rated journal).  Other outcomes not fully achieved due, in part, to changes in staffing and priorities within the company partner during a period of organisational downsizing and transition.   


a) To develop the market intelligence and capabilities needed to grow the social enterprise sector in the East Midlands region through the delivery of environmental support services.   
b) To secure the sustainability of SEEM by providing the evidence and the strategic intelligence needed to inform understanding of the environmental market; developing SEEM services to environmental social enterprise and increasing the rate of environmental social enterprise start-ups and growth.

Results for the Company Partner

* Social Enterprise East Midlands (SEEM) is the regional infrastructure body for social enterprise in the East Midlands, supporting and representing the work of the movement, informing regional and national policy and promoting best practice.  Services include start up/growth support, information on finance and investment, marketing and promotion, guidance on procurement and social and environmental impact measurement. 
* The KTP has coincided with the ending of SEEM's 3 year core funding contract with the RDA to deliver social enterprise strategy in the East Midlands – hence the need to identify alternative sources of income to ensure continuity.  Progress on the KTP outputs was affected by ongoing changes within SEEM, including three changes of company supervisor role. 
* The completion of the market research and identification of training/support opportunities was an important achievement, providing a significant volume of intelligence on environmental social enterprises in the region, the challenges they face and their support needs.  
* The KTP contributed to the Company's strategy through developing understanding of environment-related opportunities and support/training needs.  The company and its staff acquired a better understanding of the supply and demand sides of the market for environmental enterprise SEEM and knowledge and resources to inform their approach to market opportunities. 
* Although the KTP has generated knowledge, changes of staff and strategic priorities within SEEM made it harder to develop products and services from the partnership.   Nevertheless, benefits and knowledge transfer embedded through the work of the Associate and input of the Knowledge Base Partner include: 

Training materials (slides, trainer notes, exercises etc) and a long term plan to support a sectoral cluster 

Educational (extending the knowledge, skills and expertise of individuals within the community) Environmental (land, water and air)

Impacts on the Associate

* Training/personal development completed (in addition to KTP residential course):
o Attended 'International Social Innovation Research Conference' (ISIRC) and co-presented a paper
o Personal Impact course at RADA
o Ecological facilitation course at Schumacher College
* Since the KTP the Associate has volunteered at Schumacher College, has undertaken a course on biomimicry and has worked on a Lapland husky farm.

Results for the Knowledge Base Partner

* High impact on development of staff through: experience of working with social enterprise support infrastructure and development of a body of knowledge (survey data and qualitative case studies) on environmental social enterprise.
* Teaching:  medium impact through provision of very useful case study material
* Publications  and dissemination of results – high impact:
o Four conference/workshop presentations
o Three publications: article in 3* ABS ranked journal; a book chapter, one TSRC/BRASS publication

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