Plymouth Social Enterprise Network is a network of social enterprises working together to create a support system for social purpose businesses in the city and to promote social enterprise as the business approach of the present and future.
Our membership includes all kinds of social enterprises including co-operatives, community interest companies, charities, community businesses and more. All of whom are joined by a common bond – that of doing business for a good cause. We influence strategic conversations with the local council, private sector, and national governing bodies. We build strong relationships with investors to highlight the incredible social enterprise economy in Plymouth.
We want to see a more socially enterprising economy that helps to create a more equal world with zero poverty, and zero carbon emissions.
To create a local economy that is led by well respected, social purpose organisations working to make Plymouth a better place to live and work. Read the Plymouth Social Enterprise Strategy here
To work in a collaborative, fair and inclusive way. To create the pathways we need rather than being tied to existing systems. To celebrate the achievements and journeys of all our members in a creative way.
Our purpose is to be a social enterprise business network which supports the development of social enterprise activity and raises awareness of social enterprise as an alternative way of doing business.
What does the network do?
Sector advocacy and representation – We advocate for, champion and actively promote awareness of the role and value of all types of social enterprise have in the city. We also represent our members on strategic boards and with partners and stakeholders – locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Read the 5 year Plymouth Social Enterprise Strategy
Events – we run networking events, learning events, socials, and a city wide festival.
Partnering – We work in partnership with other organisations to take on member or network initiated issues and to deal with relevant issues. e.g., being a bid or delivery partner for local support, also we can act as the bidder on behalf of a member and act as an accountable body.
Movement building – We work to support a wider social enterprise movement through solidarity, opinion pieces, thought leadership and promoting social enterprise wherever we can.
Research and intelligence – We put time and energy in to finding out about the sector and its needs through research so we can be informed, identify needs and successes.
Business support – We provide initial advice, further signposting, 1-1 export support and capacity building skills.
Behaviours and values
Co-operative – we embrace fairness, model co-operative values and promote co-operation. We promote co-operation between members and wider stakeholders. While we recognize some members may compete, we recognize the value incentive in business (co-operatition), we equally value co-operation and are non-partisan.
Collective – we are an inclusive union of independent social enterprises and focus our energy on creating collective impact, above and beyond individual member interest. We bring a diversity of voice together to create collective influence and power.
Collaborative – we find and provide practical ways of work in partnership with members and wider stakeholders to achieve our aims and collective impact.
Celebratory – we celebrate and communicate the work of all our members. We respect member confidentiality, we are not a regulator, judgmental or partisan. We want more people to join us, create new and more social enterprises and a better city.
Creative – social enterprise is, by its nature, innovative, bringing together social, environmental and economic value to solve problems. Diversity is the life blood of innovation: we see connections, solutions and possibility.
Challenging – we work inside and outside systems and provide constructive challenge to what we see is not right and could be better. We are as happy in the board room as we are on the streets.
Community – we are a community and we are community-led. We are our members, elected by our members and of our members. We do not have a fixed staff team and fixed costs; work is portioned out to our members on a freelance basis. We are a community of organizations, organizing to build a movement, working towards a more socially enterprising economy.
Why we do it and what changes
We need a greener, fairer economy. We recognize that the current emergencies we are facing such as the climate crisis, inequality, poor mental health, racism and enduring poverty are symptoms of the way that we organize our world and, particularly, our economy. The Covid-19 crisis has shown us that we need to re-think our economy to ensure we tackle these issues more effectively. This includes re-imagining the role that businesses play in our economy and society. The scale of the problem is huge, ongoing and systemic. It affects us all in many ways but particularly people disadvantaged through poverty, inequality, discrimination and injustice.
The social economy is leading the way in showing how businesses can create value for our natural world, our communities and for individuals. PSEN believes that social enterprise is a fundamental way to help Plymouth become a better city to live and work in.
This means a city where:
- Businesses are good for people and planet
- People with good ideas are supported to put them into practice
- Business ownership and wealth and power is widely shared
- Social enterprise is central to the way we do business
- Social enterprise is understood, and people think of it as the model of choice when setting up a business
- Social enterprises have access to the very best business advice and investment.
If we can improve the economic system and stimulate social enterprise, we can begin to tackle these systemic issues. The Covid-19 crisis has shown us that we need to re-think our economy to ensure we tackle these issues more effectively. This includes re-imagining the role that businesses play in our economy and society. The scale of the problem is huge, ongoing and systemic. It affects us all in many ways but particularly people disadvantaged through poverty, inequality, discrimination and injustice.