Birmingham City Council – USE-IT



Citizen Coaching and Counselling CIC is a partner in USE-IT (Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together), a UIA project funded by the European regional development fund and delivered by Birmingham City Council. The aim of the project is to address the reality of poverty and underemployment amongst indigenous and migrant populations leading to increased social, economic and environmental isolation. The project aims to do this by using existing social, cultural and educational micro and macro assets in the Ladywood, Soho and Smethwick wards of Birmingham.

What did the project involve?

The role of Citizen Coaching and Counselling is to support the development of the SOHO Social Enterprise Network and to help organisations develop products that they can sell commercially to fund their organisations and make them more sustainable.

This has involved everything from developing Pop-Up Markets through to delivering training in social media and ‘working from home for fun and profit’

Who was involved?

We have worked with 15 partners (including Birmingham University, Health Exchange, I-Se, Co-operative Futures, Birmingham Chamber) and over 100 local social enterprises and budding entrepreneurs.

What services were provided?

Network Facilitation- through live presentations and creation of a network website

Training courses- providing training to fledgling and established social entrepreneurs on the subject of social media and creating business from home.

Mentoring- providing mentoring support to entrepreneurs on the I-SE FUSE programme. 

Peer knowledge exchange- sharing our own social enterprise journey with others from start up to impact tracking to social investment

What are the outcomes?

The project, that runs until December 2019, has engaged with over 100 social enterprises in the area and has been a strong catalyst to enabling Birmingham to achieve Social Enterprise City status in 2018.

How could the this project be applied to me or my organisation?

The Peer Knowledge Exchange from Nate, Matt, Katie and Martin has been very positively received by fledgling entrepreneurs and experienced social enterprise leaders alike.