The Lincolnshire Social Economy Hub within BG Futures provides a brand-new offer to support charities, cooperatives, community groups and other social economy businesses across Greater Lincolnshire and will provide free training opportunities.
Part of the hub’s community offer is the Greater Lincolnshire Social Economy Academy, which has been launched with support from Lincolnshire County Council and Business Lincolnshire. The academy offers a blend of practical and academic workshops delivered by a range of partners, and a series of debates and is open to charities, social enterprises, cooperatives, community groups and students.
The need for an academy was identified following the development of a Greater Lincolnshire Social Economy Strategy and evidence gained from an extensive research report to unlock the full potential of the county’s people and communities.
The report highlighted the benefits of social economy businesses and the challenges the sector faces. As a result, BG Futures has relaunched to focus efforts on supporting organisations which create a social impact.
Based on the BGU campus, BG Futures was originally opened in 2012 as a business and enterprise centre and has supported hundreds of businesses across Greater Lincolnshire. The relaunch to focus on social enterprise demonstrates a commitment to developing a vibrant, innovative and sustainable community, particularly from those underrepresented in the business sector.
The new Lincolnshire Social Economy Hub was officially opened by Ursula Lidbetter OBE, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op, in a ribbon cutting ceremony, exactly ten years after she cut the ribbon for the BG Futures centre in 2012.
Ursula said: “Having a base for social enterprise is more than just a building, it’s a place to bring people together, where ideas spark and wonderful things can happen
“The relaunch of the Lincolnshire Social Economy Hub will create more opportunities for social enterprise in Lincolnshire at a time when the sector needs it the most and I’m excited to see where it will lead.”
The Rev Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice-Chancellor at Bishop Grosseteste University, said: “The relaunch of BG Futures as the Lincolnshire Social Economy Hub, and the launch of the brand-new Greater Lincolnshire Social Economy Academy reaffirm Bishop Grosseteste University’s commitment to supporting organisations with clear social or environmental missions.
“This year is a significant milestone for the university as we celebrate our 160th anniversary and a decade since we were awarded full university status, and as an anchor institution for Lincoln we are proud to be able to support organisations that make Lincolnshire a better place to live and work.”