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Celebrating Social Enterprise Day

EMB Ltd is helping to celebrate national Social Enterprise Day on Thursday 18 November 2010 by taking part in the 'It's time to meet your local social enterprise' campaign.

Stephen Smith, Chief Executive of EMB Ltd, the organisation responsible for local delivery of the Business Link service says, "We work with a number of Social Enterprises and are proud to support Social Enterprise Day. We see this event as a way of celebrating success, increasing understanding of the work of Social Enterprises and raising awareness of the valuable contribution they make to their communities."

A Social Enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives. Any profits are largely reinvested in the business or in the community, rather than given to shareholders and owners.  Well known examples of social enterprises include Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen and fair-trade coffee company Cafedirect. Examples in the East Midlands include Genesis Dental Care, Shepshed Carers, Sherwood Energy Village and Unique Social Enterprise.

Social Enterprises contribute to the economy and to their local communities.  The annual turnover of all the UK's social enterprises is at least £18 billion and there are around 55,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing about 750,000 people.

In the East Midlands there are approximately 3,500 social enterprises including many different types of social enterprises such as community development trusts, housing associations, worker-owned co-operatives and leisure centres.

One Social Enterprise that has benefited from working with Business Link is East Midlands based Konnect9.

The Leicester based organisation which redistributes business surplus free to those in need through partner charities and voluntary groups has already seen donations and the number of people it has helped skyrocket since it went online over 18 months ago.

The only one of its kind, Giving World Online has saved over 86 tonnes of surplus goods from reaching landfill reaching out to 167,000 disadvantaged people in the process by matching them up with spare goods they need, totalling a staggering value of nearly £593,000.

Sujata Bhalla, one of two sisters who created the web-based matching service, said: "We are absolutely over the moon with its success especially as our online marketing plans are still in their infancy. The figures dwarf the impact we were having by simply relying on word of mouth and recommendations since we set up Konnect9 Worldwide in 2001. 

"This isn't something we could have tackled at this stage though had it not been for a £10,000 funding Business Link helped us identify and successfully apply for towards the development of our website and the effective marketing of the scheme."

Source: EMDA

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