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Help us understand the impact and value of the social economy in Staffordshire

Thu 4 Jul 2019

A coalition group of several organisations including VAST, CounterCoin, UnLtd, PM Training and The Chamber of Commerce are working together through the Social Enterprise Matters partnership to help strengthen both the voice and influence of the sector, as well as support available to grow a strong and prosperous economy and community which puts social purpose, ethics and value at the core.  The Local Economic Partnership recently approached us for information to help inform the Local Industrial Strategy and whilst we were able to offer some local and national context, more detailed information on what the VCSE looks like, achieves, delivers and needs will help bring attention, support, partnerships and potentially resources to strengthen what our sector can achieve.

We know there is great potential in Staffordshire given previous research into the VCSE sector highlights over 450 social enterprise organisations and according to national evidence from Social Enterprise UK’s ‘Hidden Revolution’ report (2018) there are now 100,000 recognised Social Enterprises in the UK, employing 2 million people, constituting 5% of the national workforce and contributing £20 billion to GDP which is now exceeding sectors such as agriculture.  Plus they are proving to be more resilient, innovative and sustainable in spite of austerity and form a growing number of mission led Small to Medium Enterprises across the UK.

Social Enterprise Matters partnership are asking for your help to strengthen picture of what is happening across Staffordshire where potential is high, yet understanding is low compared to other areas, which have been carrying out this kind of research for a number of years.  As one of 28 nationally recognised ‘Places of Social Enterprise’ across the UK, Staffordshire has a great platform on which to build and the information you help us uncover will be used to inform recommendations to the LEP, Chamber of Commerce, VCSE support agencies and as intelligence we can collectively use to demonstrate our impact.

As a survey of this kind hasn’t happened before in Staffordshire, we have been fairly thorough with our questions, requesting information on your organisation, impact and needs.  We anticipate this will take around 15 minutes to complete, depending upon the level of detail you provide. Apologies if this seems extensive, however the information is of vital importance to help shape and strengthen the work we do and support the public and private sector to better engage with our organisations, services and communities.

THE LINK TO THE SURVEY IS: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/StaffsVCSESurvey1 this is now live until 22nd July for completion.

If you have any queries regarding the survey or research please contact Nickala Torkington at nickala@flourishtogether.org.uk who is administrating the survey and analysing the research on behalf of the partnership.  

This information will not be passed to third parties beyond the partnership and will be treated as strictly confidential. A summary report with headline findings and basic analysis will be shared by the Autumn 2019 as a public document.