Bright Ideas Trust Business Mentors Required

Do you have a desire to help young people to set up their own business? Do you have the skills and empathy to support a disadvantaged young person fulfil their dreams? If the answer is YES then Bright Ideas Trust needs your help!

Bright Ideas Trust is a charity that provides bespoke, end-to-end support to help disadvantaged 16-30 year olds start their own business. We have recently launched our work in the North East and are looking for mentors to work with some of the region’s most marginalised young people through our unique, new programme “Building Bright Ideas” a, free weekly programme that will help young people build the skills and knowledge to run their own business.

Each young person involved in the programme is matched with a business mentor and that is where you can help. If you are interested in mentoring our client group, have empathy & understanding of young people from a disadvantaged background, have great communication skills & experience in business we would love for you to join our mentoring family.
We are holding a mentoring training event on 28th of September 3pm– 5pm, Business & IP Centre, City Library, Charles Avison Building, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle, NE1 8AX.

Here, you will hear from one of BIT’s experienced mentors and will also learn more about our programme and the role you will play to support our beneficiaries.

For an informal chat and to register for the event please call Bev Brown on 07596 083 727 e:

Please note – An informal chat is required to discuss the role of the business mentor in more detail before you can register for the training.

Impact Management Programme



Social Enterprise Acumen is an approved provider of  Impact for the Growth strand of the Impact Management Programme

Opportunity for charities and social enterprises that want to take part in the Impact Management Programme

The Growth Strand of the Impact Management Programme that is being led by NPC (New Philanthropy Capital) and SIB (Social Investment Business) has £1.8m grant funding available for eligible charities and social enterprises who want to get even better at the process of impact management. Individual organisations can apply for up to £50k to work with an approved provider such as Social Enterprise Acumen CIC.

The second (and final) round of funding is now open. The new grant application window opens on 28 September 2017 and closes 29 January 2018. The fund is seeking to make up to 26 grant awards, during this second window, of around £50k.

If you are interested in submitting an application to the fund you will need to secure a place at one of five free, one day training events that will be taking place in the Autumn. Attendance at a training event is a precondition to the submission of an application to the fund. A restricted number of organisations (100) will be able to attend these training events.

The deadline for signing up to the training is 4pm 6 September 2017. It is expected that the training events will be oversubscribed and, hence, the signing up process is competitive as is, ultimately, the application to the fund in the Autumn.


Training sign up form

Let’s Talk Good Finance

Thursday 7th September 9am – 12 noon

Big Society Capital are working with Social Enterprise Acumen and VONNE to bring their Let’s Talk Good Finance events to the North East. This event aims to bring together charities, social enterprises and organisations with social investors and intermediary bodies to network, share information and discuss latest issues relating to social finance.

Social Investment Surgery 12.30 – 2pm

As a wholesale investor Big Society Capital are interested in talking to commissioners, corporates and CEOs or FDs of large turnover social enterprise and charities about your interest in social investment, your capital needs and to hear your innovative ideas around how repayable finance can best create social impact. Meetings will be by appointment only and to ensure the maximum value from the session a call or discussion before agreeing an appointment will be arranged.

To book your place:

local contact:

Big Society Capital:

Seeing is Believing Tour


Social Enterprise Acumen Organised and facilitated the Durham Seeing is Believing Tour.

Leading social housing maintenance provider, Wates Living Space, and main contractor, Wates Construction, have joined forces to urge North East businesses to ramp up their support of the region’s social enterprise (SE) sector. The call to action comes as the Wates Group pledges to spend £20m with SEs and follows a ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour in Durham, hosted by Wates to demonstrate the difference being made by the SE sector in the North East. The event saw Wates partner with Social Enterprise UK to host the eighth in a series of nationwide tours designed to highlight the social value created by SEs and encourage businesses to embed SEs within their supply chain. The Wates Group’s commitment to invest in the SE sector has so far seen the business spend almost £9m with social enterprises across the country, fulfilling its pledge to spend £20m with the sector by 2020.

Share Impact podcast

Hear Kates most recent podcast talking about the North East Social Enterprise Festival, and a discussion about what is a social enterprise, the opportunities for the sector over the next 5 years, and why now is such an exciting time to be part of it.

Also hear about how she manages her time, tackles procrastination and overcomes the things she doesn’t really want to do, enabling her to fit so much in to days and achieve more.

Click here is listen

The Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace

The Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace is taking place on Tuesday 21 March 2017 at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.


This new event from Social Enterprise Scotland is a busy marketplace of social enterprises
from across the country – plus a unique programme of speakers. Buy and sell goods and services,
network and learn – with social enterprises, charities and public and private sector guests.
This dynamic and exciting one day event is a marketplace of over 80 exhibitors and a diverse
mix of hundreds of delegates helping take Scotland’s brilliant social enterprises forward.



Here are the highlights:

  • Tuesday 21st March 2017, Corn Exchange Edinburgh
  • The new national trade fair, networking and learning opportunity for social enterprises
  • Opening Plenary with Nicola Sturgeon, plus a raft of fantastic and unique sessions & speakers
  • Buy and sell goods and services, network and learn – with social enterprises, charities and public and private sector guests. 
  • Over 100 Exhibitors / hundreds of delegates
  • Scotland’s premier Social Enterprise Event!
  • Delegate Places start at £75 + vat and Exhibition Spaces £275 + vat


For full details and to book please visit:


North East Community Business Club

Logos for website







The North East’s premier network for Community Businesses, Social Enterprises and Social Leaders.

Funded by Power to Change and Hosted by Social Enterprise Acumen CIC.

Social Enterprise Acumen CIC (SEA) is pleased to announce the launch of the North East Community Business Club.
Times of austerity can also be times of opportunity, so those of us working for social change in our North East Communities need the chance to come together to collaborate, share experiences and knowledge, support each other and explore enterprising ways to tackle the issues we face. The North East Community Business Club has been established to provide the opportunity for this to happen.


Social Enterprise Acumen is calling for Expressions of interest from Community Businesses from across the following areas to become ‘Ambassador’ Organisations:
1) Northumberland
2) North Tyneside/Newcastle
3) Gateshead/South Tyneside
4) Sunderland/Hartlepool
5) Darlington/Stockton
6) Middlesbrough Cleveland
(Please note we are specifically looking for Community Businesses to be Ambassadors – please see the detailed criteria at

Community Businesses have 4 key criteria.

Locally rooted: They are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs. For example, that could be high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
Trading for the benefit of the local community: They are businesses. Their income comes from things like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafes, selling produce they grow or generating energy.
Accountable to the local community: They are accountable to local people, for example through a community shares offer that creates members who have a voice in the business’s direction.
Broad community impact: They benefit and impact their local community as a whole. They often morph into the hub of a neighbourhood, where all types of local groups gather, for example to access broadband or get training in vital life skills.


We are looking for the following commitment from Ambassador Organisations:

• To host 1 local Community Business Club meeting per month in their community venue (for 18 months)
• To provide the administrative support to their local Community Business Club meetings, including minutes and actions that will be provided to SEA for distribution to the wider network
• To attend monthly full network meetings (every month for 18 months) to feed back from local meetings and gain information from the wider network to feed back to their local members
• To actively promote the North East Community Business Club to organisations in its area

SEA understands that this is a significant commitment from Ambassadors Organisations and can provide remuneration of up to £3,000 per organisation to cover costs associated with the above (for a period of 18 months).

How to become an Ambassador Organisation

If your organisation would like to become an Ambassador Organisation please send us an Expression of Interest of no more than 2 sides of A4 outlining the following:
• Why your organisation is best placed to be an ambassador organisation
• The range of organisations (geographically) that would benefit from local meetings being held at your premises
• The size of your venue – specifically how many people can you host at local meetings
• The experience and knowledge your organisation would provide as an ambassador
• Confirmation of the commitment to attend meetings (contracted for 18 months)
• An outline of how you would promote the network to local and wider members and potential members
• The added value that your organisation can bring to the network
• Your proposed costs for being an Ambassador (up to 3k)

If you would like to have an informal discussion about this role, please contact Emma Frew on 0191 3869785. The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 27th January 2017 at noon.

(The North East Community Business Club will be launched in February 2017. Membership is free. If you are interested in becoming a member please sign up to our mailing list and we will contact you with more details and information on the launch event.

Free leadership training

Are you involved with a locally-rooted, people-powered business? Are you passionate about empowering your community?

A partnership of Power to Change, the RSA, RIO and University of Sheffield Management School are offering a free leadership training course across the Northern regions of England for people from community businesses committed to developing their skills and impact.

You’ll learn and share experiences with others from across the region and receive expert support to help make your organisation more enterprising, inclusive and effective.


“This came at exactly the right time for both our organisation and for me personally. I’ve done a lot of training in the past and it’s rare to find something this good; the content, delivery and other participants have been exceptional.” South West programme participant 2016


Find out more here:


Sign up for our FAQs webinar  – Thu, Nov 17, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM


To apply for a place on the Community Business Leadership Programme please complete Application stage 1:


If you have any questions please contact Josie Warden on  or 0207 451 6914.