Bashing and boosting micro-enterprise

We launched a new report today on the top ten ways in which councils are boosting – and bashing – micro-enterprises in their area. Whilst some areas limit ways of spending personal budgets or access to ‘approved provider’ lists to tried and tested large providers, others actively encourage creativity and have thought through the environment needed for successful start-ups. Some councils throw a bit of money at budding micro-entrepreneurs in the hope that some great ideas will stick, whilst others have used the learning from successful micro-enterprise programmes (eg 125 jobs and 40 volunteering opportunities created in three years by Oldham’s Community Catalysts programme) to create a really thoughtful support programme which gives entrepreneurs a fighting chance of success.

The variation in micro-enterprise support is huge. Even areas with expensive brokerage systems are often only able to offer people the option of a Personal Assistant or traditional services. The report suggests that most areas have some way to go to unlock local people’s creativity and to raise aspirations. But the rewards are huge, as Angela Catley of our sister organisation, Community Catalysts, points out in an interesting article about micro-enterprise, which includes a picture of the Green Team in Dudley, which was set up by three support workers to provide people with learning disabilities with an alternative to day services in the shape of meaningful work as part of a gardening team.

One thought on “Bashing and boosting micro-enterprise

  1. begethers May 13, 2012 / 8:02 am

    Dear Alex and colleagues,
    Many thanks for this brilliant report which is empowering and encouraging. I would love to have a conversation at some point soon re what you are doing and the connections with my work on values and culture in health and social care – i am focused on the cultivation of mindfulness and compassion (what i call ‘quiet minds and open hearts’)to unlock the care that many people feel but do not show. As a result of this work I am talking to commissioners about an asset based abundant approach to commissioning which assumes that people want to be good, have the solutions they need and are worthy of trust. We have been working with a west london borough and now have a commitment to a radical rethink from both health and social care in three boroughs.
    Let me know if you would like to have a chat re connections and perspectives.
    I have no doubt you are very busy so no rush!
    warm regards
    PS One of the things we share is that slightly odd ‘radical’ tag

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