The Solent LEP is fortunate to be host to a vibrant and expansive voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, which undertakes a huge diversity of work that makes an enormous difference to people’s lives, communities and the environment across the LEP area. There are, for example, approximately 8,400 voluntary and community groups across Hampshire alone.
Analysis by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations suggests that the voluntary sector organisations contribute 0.8% of national GDP, while the work of volunteers contributes a further 1.6%. Across the Solent area, this is equivalent to contributions of £190m and £380m respectively.
We are committed to supporting the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, particularly through opportunities available under European Funding available in the Solent, to reach out to groups in society who face significant barriers to economic and social inclusion.
As a result, we have established a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Forum to help shape the work that the LEP undertakes in the sector as part of its Strategic Economic Plan. It is our ambition to:
If you would like to attend our Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Forum and help shape the work we do in this area, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solent based Social Enterprises may also be eligible for funding under our Business Support funding programmes. Further information in relation to this opportunity is available here.
The Solent is recognised as a social enterprise zone, further information can be found at www.socialenterpriselink.co.uk