Sheffield becomes a ‘Social Enterprise City'

Sheffield is now a ‘Social Enterprise City’, an award granted by Social Enterprise UK that recognises it as a hotspot of social enterprise activity.

There are now 24 ‘Social Enterprise Places’ – regions, cities or towns – across England and Wales, plus one in Veneto in Italy and another in Auckland, New Zealand.

Darren Chouings of the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network said he was thrilled that Sheffield had been awarded the title.

He added: “The Sheffield Social Enterprise Network’s future plans for the city are now supported by an excellent steering group made up from key stakeholders from across Sheffield’s business community.

Sheffield’s social enterprises are working hard to tackle some of the city’s and society’s most pressing challenges

“Together, we aim to increase awareness of the value created by our local social enterprises and provide new ways to support them in their work.”

Social Enterprise UK’s Social Enterprise Place scheme aims to celebrate areas where social enterprises are thriving as well as supporting them to grow.

Announcing the award, Sheffield Social Enterprise Network pointed out that the city has a long history of social enterprise activity. Examples of established social enterprises include Sheffield Live, which runs community radio and TV, Zest, which tackles inequality and Fusion Café, which trains young adults with learning difficulties.

Newcomers include co-working space Union St and The Gardeners Rest, a community-owned social enterprise pub.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Sheffield has seen the coming and going of heavy industry and has forged ahead to create a city that is diverse and facing the future with a sense of optimism despite the many challenges we face.

“Social enterprises have a crucial role to play if we’re to tackle rising inequalities and build an economy that works for everybody. Sheffield’s social enterprises are more than doing their part, working hard to tackle some of the city’s and society’s most pressing challenges.”

> Listen to an interview with Darren Chouings of the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network on Jamie Veitch's Business Live radio show, from community media social enterprise Sheffield Live. Click here and play the Friday 2 February episode.

Header photo: Guests at a Sheffield Social Enterprise Network event at Fusion Café