SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NEWS
In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Brian Robertson-Fern and BRAG Enterprises Ltd, a social enterprise with an aim of regenerating ex-industrial communities in Fife through the creation and support of sustainable employment. Get in touch with Brian at BRobertson-Fern@brag.co.uk and check out www.brag.co.uk. Connect with them on Twitter too. Every few weeks we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. BRAG Enterprises Ltd will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond. Want to star in the Spotlight? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? BRAG Enterprises is a social enterprise with nearly 30 years’ experience of delivering education, training, employability as well as business start-up provision and we are now widely recognised as the key inspirer of social enterprise within the Fife area. Our turnover last year was over £1 million.
How do you do it? Operating from our Business Centre in Crosshill, Fife we provide services on site as well as supporting communities remotely where demand is known to exist. The business centre along with 2 smaller sites in Lochgelly currently host around 30 separate business ventures.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? Having worked for many years in the employability, social enterprise and justice sectors I now clearly see the real social benefits of providing a holistic response to what we now offer as a business.
What are your current projects? As well as delivering on Fifes aspirations for social enterprise and start-up we also play the lead role in the Fife ETC (Fife Employment and Training Consortium). The Consortium currently consists of 9 separate third sector employability pathway providers. We are also piloting a community connectors programme.
What exciting things do you have coming up? Having newly come into post in January, I have plans to build on the good work done by my predecessor John Oates. In addition a recent review of the Consortium has also raised some development opportunities for us there, along with a possible new business site in the Methil/Levenmouth area.
Who do you want to work with more? Recent reviews now show us that those still not able to work or contribute are furthest away from the market and need a cocktail of support to help them sustain employment. I see social enterprise playing a key part in that journey.
What’s your biggest challenge? The obvious ones are the financial pressures we now all face with shrinking budgets and greater needs. However our ability to work together as a sector is one of our biggest strengths and opportunities which should see us through this difficult time.
What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Tenacity! Stick at it and don’t take no for an answer. That said, make your business offer what people need, where there is a clear revenue stream to support it. And finally challenge the accepted old thinking. We have a need to do things differently now so the days of saying “that’s how it’s aye been” are long gone
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