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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Social Enterprise Support

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Meg was asked to give a short speech at the official launch of the www.setas.co.uk website. The site was set-up to provide social enterprises with information on the various opportunities for training for their workers, as well as provide support to the sector in general. Meg was very pleased to be asked to do this as she has experience of working in the social enterprise area in South Yorkshire.



I apologise for missing the start of the event and the other speeches due to diary commitments. I am pleased to be able to join you now. The social enterprise sector is one of my key interests - as well as being a member of the Labour Party I am also an active member of the Co-operative Party, and currently Chair of the Co-operative Group of MPs in Parliament.


As for my practical experience in social enterprise - I’ve been on the Board of Directors of a social enterprise in South Yorkshire, one with a turnover of around half-a-million. Of course, this is in addition to my involvement with my local retail co-operative society.


The government is interested and involved with the social enterprise sector because they provide much needed services to people, and often provide employment for disadvantaged people in a supportive environment.


With my Ministerial responsibilities for Women and Equality, I also see social enterprises providing a path for many women who want to harness their talents for the benefit of their communities.  In this way, social enterprises contribute to the real benefits to be gained by increasing women’s participation rate in enterprise.



I want to congratulate those who have developed these important new tools for the social enterprise sector. These tools directly contribute to the aim of the Government’s social enterprise strategy.  I’m also pleased that the Small Business Service played a small part in supporting their development - alongside the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the EQUAL programme.


Like all businesses, social enterprises benefit from appropriate business support and training.  The new setas web-site is an important development in helping social enterprises find such support and training. I am impressed by the range of training providers that can be accessed through the web-site and pay tribute to the members of the training consortium who have contributed to its development.


I also welcome the development of the business support register by the Social Enterprise Partnership.  It is useful that information on both training and business support has been brought together in one place - this will increase the impact of the tools. It is encouraging that the site is receiving hundreds of hits per week, even before today’s official launch.


Quality and impact tools developed by the Social Enterprise Partnership will directly contribute to a growing social enterprise sector:

by raising awareness of the value of the sector and by helping social enterprises demonstrate their added value; and

the tools play a role in making social enterprises better businesses by helping social enterprises improve their business and social impacts.


Collaboration between the different parts of the sector through Social Enterprise Partnership has been a key part of this project and led to improved understanding of how best to meet the needs of social enterprises.


I would like to end by repeating my congratulations to all involved and encouraging the sector to make good use of these tools. I look forward to hearing about their continuing impact.


The photo shows Sally Reynolds from Social Firms UK, Meg and Sarah Reid from Coin Street Community Builders.


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