Social Enterprise & Investment News

Social Enterprise & Investment News

Social Enterprise Magazine

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Co-operative Delivery Models in the Domiciliary Care & Hospitality Sectors

The Social Investment Business is thinking about how it can support the care sector through social investment and there is a huge potential to develop local mutualised groups and shared ownership models such as co-operatives. Take a look at their blog:

Be Caring, an employee owned social enterprise providing social care received Big Potential and Reach grant funds to support it to access social investment with the Social Investment Business:

The Social Investment Business has also blogged about the potential for new ownership and delivery models to sustain the local hospitality sector and economic and social deprivation:

If this is something that you are interested in then Co-operative and Social Enterprise Development Agency (CASE) may be able to help. There are grant funds available to start-up and develop a co-operative model as well as for existing co-operatives to develop and grow, and CASE can help youalong the way:

Support for Women & Women-led Organisations

A great report has just been released by Lincolnshire Community Foundation and Sortified called ‘On An Equal Footing’. This project is the output of a project funded by the Connect Fund that aims to support women and women-led organisations to access social investment opportunities across the East Midlands. The project recommended a number of key actions in order to create a better environment for women accessing social investment in the future.

The report can be found here:

The website includes some useful resources & links:

Housing and Social Investment

Housing is a priority area for the Big Society Capital with new housing funds emerging and it is testing and developing new innovative housing models, check out their blog:

For social investment take a look at the Community Impact Partnership, a partnership between four of the UK’s leading housing associations that provides social investment in the form of blended grants and loans to help charitable organisations, social enterprises and community businesses to grow and innovate.

Here are some good resources on housing:

Hact supports development and innovation in the housing sector. It has some great tools and resources on social impact

The Housing Federation has the latest news and developments in housing:

Support Solutions provides insight, support and expertise in housing:

Homeless link is the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless. See their website for news, facts, resources and support:

Social Investors

Crowd Funding Investment for Community Empowerment
Could your group consider a crowd funding model to fund projects support community-led regeneration and boost local resilience? Check out this great resource that explains what crowdfunding for community investment is, how to do it, & the opportunities and challenges:

Social investor directory

A list of all of the social investors can be found on the Good Finance website here:

Grants to support you to raise investment

The Reach Fund is a grant programme that helps charities and social enterprises raise investment. You can apply for up to £15,000 to pay for any support that you may need (e.g. business planning, financial models, marketing). If you need support to develop a proposal then please contact CASE – we will discuss your needs and help you to access the support that you need.

Case studies of social enterprises and investment

The Social and Sustainable Capital Impact report lists a number of large social enterprises that have secured investments – take a look and see if any of these business models are relevant to your organisation:

Check out these podcasts of social enterprises that have experience in applying for and securing social investment, including HQ Recording, a social enterprise in Leicester that accessed support from CASE and secured a blend of grant funding and social investment to grow the business:


Enterprise Support Toolkit

The Key Fund has a fantastic resource called the Enterprise Toolbox – with everything that you need including information, resources and templates to support social enterprises to develop and grow:

Digital Resources

Take a look through the Eastside Primetimers selection of the top ten articles, videos, resources and tools that will help you take your digital leadership to the next level:


Charity Bank is running a series of FREE half day seminars for charities and social enterprises on the state of the sector and funding opportunities with practical insight and guidance from experts and leaders. See here to register:

CASE and VAL are running a Financial Planning workshop in Leicester, 9.30am-12.30pm on 16th September, open to any organisations based in the East Midlands that are currently trading or wanting to trade in the future. This FREE workshop will help organisations to fully cost their projects/services, identify financial scenarios and make decisions on cost/ pricing, develop financial forecasts/models and met due diligence & financial standards for social investment.


Co-operative and Social Enterprise Development Agency (CASE) is a social enterprise and co-operative established in 1982 that is the trusted organisation for co-operatives, social enterprises and community enterprises. It supports co-operatives and social enterprises to develop and grow and it promotes co-operative ways of working.

CASE is working in partnership with local infrastructure support organisations across the East Midlands to identify and support groups to increase their resilience through developing social enterprise business models and accessing social investment. If you have a good idea or proposal for investment or if you are already a social enterprise and you want to develop and grow through trading then please get in touch either with CASE or with your local support CVS.

Co-operative and Social Enterprise Development Agency (CASE)
T. 0116 222 5010. E.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

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We use cookies to help us to monitor and improve our website. No personal information is collected and we use this information to gauge the popularity of our web pages and total number of visitors and the countries they are from. We DO NOT use cookies to steer users to advertising of any kind.

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Equality and Diversity Policy

 The need for equal opportunities and diversity

It is widely recognised that particular groups suffer discrimination in the job market and in the allocation of services.  This can be caused by conscious or sub-conscious prejudice, physical impediment, lack of access to education or many other reasons.  In recognising the discrimination prevalent within our society we can show that the following experience discrimination or lack of access to services:

  • women
  • non-indigenous people, in particular Black people
  • working class people
  • people with disabilities (motor, sensor or physical)
  • unemployed people
  • lesbians, bisexuals, gay men, transsexuals and transgendered people
  • people with dependants, especially single parents
  • people with less access to education
  • council tenants or people living in social housing
  • inner city residents
  • people with HIV/AIDS
  • older people
  • young people

This list is not definitive and it is not intended to be.

We are opposed to, and will actively work against, prejudice towards any of these groups.

CASE is committed to equality of opportunities.  The aim of the policy is to ensure that the services and activities of the agency are equally accessible to all.  This policy applies to CASE employees and all clients and users of CASE.

CASE as an employer

All CASE workers are expected to follow the equal opportunities policy.  Failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action.

The effect of equal opportunities and diversity on CASE as a provider of services

As an agency that accesses contracts from public bodies, it is essential that our services are available to all citizens of Leicestershire.  CASE will endeavour to ensure that this objective is met.


CASE will strive to ensure that its publicity and promotion is accessible to all sections of the community.  Some elements of publicity will be directed specifically towards Black and recently arrived communities, women and people with disabilities and older people as we recognise that conventional methods of communication often excludes these groups.  This work will be undertaken, in the main, via the Agency’s links with various community organisations.   We will also actively work with women’s groups, Black groups, organisations of people with disabilities, and other groups and organisations to positively work at overcoming their exclusion from other means of representation and communication.

We will liaise with community groups, colleges, and other business advice agencies to ensure that our services are known to a wide variety of people and agencies.


We will not discriminate against people or groups on the basis of their inability to speak fluent English as a first language.  We therefore recognise the need to establish provision for training delivered in other languages when the need arises.  We would hope to do so by utilising our links with projects such as the Belgrave Baheno, Shama Women’s Centre, Somali Development Services and others.  CASE can best meet these needs by devising development programmes with other agencies that will provide generalist expertise whilst CASE provides the specialist co-operative or social enterprise advice and training.

We may consider providing access to women only training in selected areas to allow women to develop skills to which access may have previously been difficult.


Meetings will take place at times that allow for the participation of people with responsibility for dependants.

Childcare and dependants’ costs

CASE will, where funds permit, pay for, or contribute towards, childcare or dependants’ costs for people attending CASE courses or meetings.


Whilst we are aware that monitoring may cause offence particularly if handled indelicately, we also recognise that it is only by monitoring that the effectiveness of equal opportunities policies can be judged.  New clients are asked to complete a form stating their ethnic origin, sex, age, employment status, how they heard about the CASE and the area that they live in.  This is purely on a voluntary basis and clients are informed verbally and in writing why this information is required.  The information gained is strictly confidential and is used by CASE to assess the effectiveness of its equal opportunities policy.

Access for people with disabilities

CASE is situated on the first floor of a Grade II listed building.  The building is not accessible to wheelchair users via the front entrance because access to the building involves a set of steps. However level access is possible via the rear entrance of the building via the car park.  Please inform CASE if you wish to access the building via this entrance.  Car parking can be provided for clients with disabilities – please request this when booking your meeting or training course.

CASE recognises that this situation is not ideal and will endeavour to investigate methods of improving access to, and facilities for, people with motor disabilities.  Wherever possible meetings will be held at an accessible venue of the client’s choice.

CASE is not able, due to staffing and financial considerations, to provide facilities such as aural loops, Braille or signers for the profoundly deaf or hard of hearing.  CASE can best meet these needs by devising development programmes with other organisations who are able to provide these facilities.  These organisations can also assist by providing generalist advice and expertise whilst CASE provides the specialist co-operative advice and training.

CASE will endeavour to ensure that people with disabilities are able to fully partake of the services of the Agency.  Where possible CASE employees will endeavour to meet with clients at their own premises or premises of the client’s choice.

Discriminatory behaviour by, or to, users and visitors

Discriminatory behaviour is not acceptable either within the Agency or to users who suffer it as a result of working with us or visiting us.  Members of staff are responsible for challenging clients or visitors who act in such a manner, and ending this behaviour.  Clients or visitors who persist in such behaviour will not be permitted assistance from CASE or to visit the Agency.


It is important that the language we use in our dealings with one another (our everyday words and phrases, and ways of expressing things) does not help to form and continue attitudes that discriminate or patronise.  Language should not be:

  • Racist (that is, language should not show any collusion with racist ideology by supporting negative stereotypes about people’s ethnic background or colour)
  • Sexist
  • Anti-gay, anti-bisexual or anti-lesbian
  • Insulting to people with disabilities

Employees of CASE and users of the CASE service are requested to avoid language that contains jargon or technical terms that may exclude or patronise other people.


Harassment can be defined as behaviour from an individual or group of people towards another individual or group which:

  • Causes offence or hurt to the people on the receiving end of the behaviour
  • Creates an unpleasant or intimidating environment

CASE will not tolerate harassment of any form.  Some examples are detailed below.  It is accepted that this list is not complete and neither is it intended to be.  It is included to give the reader an indication of the kinds of unacceptable behaviour of harassment.

  • There must not be sexual harassment of any kind.  Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual comments, looks, actions, suggestions or physical contact that is found to be objectionable.
  • There must not be racial harassment of any kind.  Racial harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome terms, comments, actions or behaviour relating to a person’s race, ethnicity or colour which members of a racial, cultural or religious group find offensive.
  • There must not be any harassment of people with disabilities.  This is any unwelcome terms, comments, actions or behaviour relating to a person’s physical or mental abilities, which are found offensive.
  • There must not be heterosexist harassment of any kind.  Heterosexism is the unfounded fear and ignorance of lesbians, bisexuals and gay men by heterosexuals.  Heterosexist harassment is harassment that is directed towards lesbians, bisexuals and gay men in which being lesbian, bisexual or gay is belittled, compared unfavourably with heterosexuality or in any way negatively represented.

Ground rules for group work

Having a set of rules on conduct of personal behaviour is essential to ensure that everyone gets an equal say in discussions.  Everyone within the group has a right to make their voice heard and this right should be respected.  Group members should not mock or override the opinions of those who are shy or feel intimidated for any other reason.

Being aware of others

Every individual has a right to respect and courtesy.  Disrespect and discourtesy are not part of an equality framework.

Be aware that others have experience and skills, often gained from a variety of roles.  People’s contributions should be listened to and respected.

In a group situation wait until a speaker is finished, do not cut across someone else.  Try to have discussions not arguments.  Be brief and to the point.

Do not monopolise the discussion.  Ensure that others are given room and encouragement to speak.  Try not to repeat yourself.

Allow others to state their views even if you don’t agree with them – you may learn something!

Don’t make assumptions about people based solely on what you perceive.  If in doubt ask questions.

Criticising self and others

Feedback should aim to reinforce good points and make helpful suggestions. Destructive criticism should be avoided.

Remember we all contribute to situations which arise so appraise your own behaviour as well!


Please help us to provide and maintain a quality service to all our users by following the code of practice outlined above.

Dorothy Francis, Director of CASE, Received MBE for Promotion of Enterprise

CASE Director, Dorothy Francis, received an MBE in the 2016 New Year Honour’s List for “services to enterprise and the communities of Leicester and Leicestershire.”   

Dorothy was one of three prominent figures in the UK social enterprise landscape to be recognised in the New Year Honours List and was mentioned in the Government’s press release for her services in supporting enterprise growth.

Dorothy has worked tirelessly for over 30 years to encourage co-operatively run businesses to establish and grow and has directly supported over 200 enterprises to start, develop and realise their potential. Some of the businesses that Dorothy supported to set up have now traded for 30 years and many are award winners in their field. 

The MBE was announced in 2016 and crowned an outstanding year for Dorothy in which she was included on both the Birthday and New Year Honours lists.   In addition to receiving an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List, Dorothy was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in April 2016 when she received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Lifetime Achievement Award is an OBE equivalent honour and is only given to one person annually; Dorothy is the 12th person in the UK to hold this accolade. 

That was a busy year for Dorothy in that she also became a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which is the most senior level of membership and is awarded by invitation only.  The invitation was in recognition of the contributions that Dorothy has made to the field of management and leadership within the co-operative and social enterprise sector and the role that she will play within the CMI to help shape the future of the management profession.

Dorothy commented “I love my work and consider it not just a job but a vocation.  I am passionate about co-operatives and social businesses and I am delighted to receive recognition through being granted an MBE, the Queen’s Award and an invitation to Companionship of the CMI.  However I have not achieved this in isolation and I would like to thank the inspiring people at CASE, past and present, whom I have worked alongside to promote the principles and practices of social business for many years.  I would also like to thank the dedicated, hardworking and inspirational people who access CASE to explore and fulfil their dreams of running community focused businesses.  I consider myself lucky to work with people who seek to change society and it’s a pleasure to be involved with so many committed social entrepreneurs.