Pilot Project Shows Social Enterprises Can Tackle Local Problems

  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) suggest how community-level entrepreneurs can tackle local problems.

    The JRF pilot project in Bradford shows the untapped potential that locally based social enterprises have to solve local problems.

    The report also says that local authorities should place a higher importance on this as a way to help the problems, and be willing to take the risk to back them.

    The Bradford Social Future Awards is a pilot scheme in partnership between JRF, UnLtd and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Between May 2011 to June 2012, it showed the untapped potential of local people to find local solutions to local problems, and a readiness to take risks through backing social entrepreneurs with flexible finance and support.

    The key findings of the pilot were:

    • Taking risks on social entrepreneurs and backing them with flexible finance and support is one way of stimulating civil activity and local leadership.
    • Social entrepreneurs in the Bradford Social Future Awards scheme valued flexible finance, contact with local authority officers and public service commissioners, and opportunities to network with other social entrepreneurs and providers.
    • The benefits for local councils and commissioners can include a broader awareness of effective practices and local solutions, meeting local needs, and leveraging resources and support from across the council and other agencies.

    See a full summary of the pilot here.

     


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