When the Network met on 8th March there was such a good and in-depth debate on the Network’s development plan – that we ran out of time to fully discuss the Key Actions document and related Key Actions Table properly (even though they were touched on several time during the debate).
It was suggested that the way forward would be to put the key actions on the website as a blog posting and Network members could use leave comments on them – and in this way (together with emailings) end up with a set of key actions we have all discussed and which could be ratified at the next meeting on 10th May. So please read, digest and leave your comments!
Key Actions (draft)
- Agree on whether a formal ‘constitution’ or company structure is needed and a process to achieve to this.
- Develop a trade fair/social enterprise festival to showcase and promote social enterprise in the city. Hopefully Oct/Nov 2011. Seek a sponsor and ensure that this is a high profile and top quality event. Develop a press campaign around this event.
- Create a trade directory of social enterprises in and around Plymouth. Seek a sponsor for this. Need to agree whether this is online only or a paper version. Linked to this we should develop some case studies of social enterprises in Plymouth.
- Continue to develop an online presence in all appropriate forms, e.g. Twitter, website, Facebook and Linked In. We need to ensure that these are linked together with consistent messages to spread the word and promote the network.
- Host 2/3 events with high profile speakers from the social enterprise or wider third sector world. These should be ‘special’ events – maybe focusing more on national policy, philosophy or the big picture, with an attendance fee and possibly a sponsor. They would be different to the regular forum meetings where we might get speakers on more practical matters.
- Research and develop offering membership benefits and services, e.g. offers on magazine or other subscriptions, mentoring/training, joint purchases and exploring opportunities for costs savings for members.
- Research the size, state and needs of the social enterprise sector in Plymouth in more detail. It would be very useful to have key facts and figures about the sector to be able to respond to any consultations or requests for information.
- The network should continue to play a strong role in representing the social enterprise sector in Plymouth. The LEP response is a good example of how this could work in future.
- The network needs to seek finance to undertake and support these activities. This could include income through sponsorship, contracts, partnerships (e.g. with Neighbourhood Learning Consortium), advertising and grants. Income through charging membership fees needs to be debated and decided upon.
- Research likely sources of funding an make a bid(s) for some dedicated resource to provide a co-ordinator and/or admin resource to help bring about the above actions.
In the meantime the Network’s action group are authorised to make a start on any of the actions that seemed sensible in order to keep things progressing – with the proviso that we should not undertake something major unless we were confident it would work well (nothing like a flop to advertise the ineffectiveness of an organisation).
Copies of the Key Actions document and the Key Actions Table documents were emailed out to members before the 8th March meeting – please get in touch if you missed these or need extra copies.
The Network’s action group currently comprises: Ed Whitelaw, Sam Swabey, Sarah Greep, Gareth Hart and Dave Kilroy. Michelle Virgo has just joined (she will be chairing the Network’s meeting in May) and Debbie Stewart is still involved for the moment.
So, please leave a comment (via the ‘Leave a Reply’ section below) and check back for what others are saying – and comment on that too!