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

North East Community Business Club

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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.

Let’s Talk Good Finance


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 is the second in a series of events aiming 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.

Hear stories of how social investment has made a real difference for social enterprises and meet investors and people who have been there and done it!
Join us at 9:30am for coffee before a 10:00am start.

November 23rd, 2016 9:30 AM   to   12:30 PM

Sjovoll Centre, Front Street, Pity Me, Durham, DH1 5BZ


Social Enterprise Acumen have been shortlisted for the Skills & Opportunities Fund

The Skills & Opportunities Fund is one of the many ways we’re contributing to the communities we live and work in. In 2015, the fund committed £2.5m to fund projects in charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges across the UK and Ireland, and allocated a further £2.5m to be split across two rounds in 2016. The focus for this funding is to support organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to help themselves; skills that will enable them to get into work or start a business, now or in the future.

Social Enterprise Acumen are working in partnership with CVL in  Middlesbrough to support social entrepreneurs to make a difference in their local community. Please vote for Community Ventures Middlesbrough and the SEAstars programme to help us make this happen.

Vote now

SEA stars helps young people through their journey to social enterprise. Interactive, face-paced sessions help young people to identify and develop strengths, explore ideas of how to make money, and most importantly have fun, gain confidence and meet like minded people. Watch the video below to find out more about what SEA Stars offers.

The Sea Stars programme is a 4 week programme to inspire entrepreneurial spirit which will take you through the journey of developing a product or service through a series of challenges. Consider marketing, pricing, financing, routes to market and engaging with customers.Stars (2)

The Course provides:

  • 1-to-1 coaching
  • Individualised support with financial plans
  • Support in accessing start up finance
  • SEA have start up grants of up to £500 for young people on Sea Stars who get to start up phase
  • Help with resources including office space
  • Access to the social entrepreneurs

Our support does not stop there. We will continue to provide support either into employment with an existing social enterprise or help with start up.


Kate Welch Official Presentation of Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion

Queen's Award Kate WelchSocial Enterprise Acumen CIC is so proud that our CEO, Kate Welch OBE DL FRSA is a recipient of The Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion 2016.


On 20th September we hosted an event to for the official presentation by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Kate Welch to recognise her contribution to social entrepreneurship in the North East and further afield.

The Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion recognises individuals who have played an outstanding role in the promoting the growth of business enterprise and/or entrepreneurial skill and attitudes. There are 5 winners in this year’s awards and Kate is the only one in our region.

Kate Welch OBE DL FRSA, a serial social entrepreneur, is founder and Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Acumen CIC which supports social entrepreneurs and social enterprises. Her first social enterprise Acumen Development Trust which was founded in 2003 has now supported over 16,000 long term unemployed people into employment. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for services to Social Enterprise in the North East and was the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Social award winner for the North. In April 2016 she was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Kate is an active member of the Methodist Church, on the board of Northumbria Industrial Mission, Communities Together Durham, and Jubilee Plus. She is involved in Girlguiding as a leader, trainer and Council member, and is a Non-Executive Director of ACEVO, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and the North East Social Investment Company.

Press Release – Kate Welch Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, 2016

Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion 2016

Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion 2016