Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES)

Whitehouse Road Sunderland SR2 8AH
Lower Rudyerd Street North Shields NE29 6NG ‎
White House Road Sunderland SR2 8DA GB

Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES) is a social enterprise with over three decades of practical business experience in supporting social enterprises, and the growth of self-employment within the North East. The development of enterprise skills, the growth of self-employment offers people routes out of inequality and poverty. 

The vision of SES is: “To use enterprise as a vehicle for the creation of a fairer society through the alleviation of inequality and poverty, to underpin our work by a evidence-based approach”. 

SES’s work is verified by independent Social Accounting and Audit Process, which evidenced that in 2014 we:

  • 324 micro business were created, 82% of which were long-term unemployed, 48% (Almost triple the national average) were female and 2 year survival rates of 70%
  •  SES directly supports 245 Social Enterprises; their combined workforce is 2,320 of which 85% were from hard-pressed communities, 85% of these social enterprises were ‘owned’ and/or directed by women, again higher that the national average for female social  enterprises

Core activities that SES delivers are:

  •  Social Enterprise start-up and growth, via business planning, growth and opportunity planning services.
  •  Micro enterprise start-up business advice and support services.
  • Capital and Revenue business Feasibility case and business Plan, Investment Readiness
  • Provision of Social Enterprise Workspace The Mission North Tyneside & Co-op Centre Sunderland

SES has  two existing programmes that focus on women and enterprise Namely: “Women Out Of Poverty Into Enterprising”  (WOOPIE) a RBS sponsored initiative the aims of the project 1) Support Women Out Of Poverty Into Enterprising activities, 2) Improving the economic resilience of communities 3) Enable economic resilience among disadvantaged women 4) Promote positive entrepreneurial role models among women and their families. This 12 month pilot project has worked with 150 women who live within poverty and furtherest removed from the labour market, 54 of them have created new business and further 50 went on to additional training courses and mentoring.

We wanted to address the gender imbalance with regard to business start-up, we produced a report ‘The Role of Women’s Businesses in Local Economic Resilience’ 2012 based on 140 completed questionnaire by women, 3 X women only focus groups and desk research. The large majority of respondents were living in poverty / jobless – the women highlighted that future enterprise projects that are to targeted to women living in poverty should include these elements:

Support via enterprise mentors and/or buddies

Benefit, debt and tax credit advice

Health and Wealth MOT Checks

Meeting other businesses

Idea generation

Free/low cost accountancy

More Enterprise Courses

Provide confidence building via peers    

This work has informed us in our enterprise roll outs for 2013-15, resulting in better performance of getting more disadvantaged women into self-employment.

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