Plan outlined to grow city's £107m social enterprise economy

Today Norwich celebrates becoming a social enterprise place

Norwich celebrates becoming a social enterprise place - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography.

The city’s £107m social enterprise economy has been recognised with the launch of a new initiative – and a plan set out for how it can continue to thrive in the future.   

Fuse Norwich is a new initiative which has been launched after Norwich was recognised as a designated social enterprise space.   

In the Fine City there are currently 53 social enterprises – contributing £107m to the local economy.   

It employs 2,700 local people.   

A social enterprise is company run in the interest of the community and is set apart by reinvesting or donating their profits to create positive social change.   

Lucy Parish, chief executive of The Feed Enterprises CIC, said: “One of the fantastic things about social enterprises is that customers can expect a quality product or service whilst knowing they are doing something good for their local area.” 

The Feed is a social enterprise which prevents poverty, hunger and homelessness through the work of its catering services and cafes. 

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Social enterprise bosses gathered for the launch yesterday, and among them was Rebecca White, founder and chief executive of Your Own Place.   

The company works to prevent youth homelessness through training and workshops.   

Rebecca said: “It was actually quite an emotional day.   

“It was wonderful to be on a bus travelling around Norwich and objectively seeing the brilliant work other people are doing to try and make the lives of people living in Norwich better.   

“We’ve already done so much and I think that recognition like this will continue to draw socially-minded people to the area.”  

She added: “But there’s so much more we can do. The next stage we’ll look at is what we need next – the goods and services people are missing out on – and how we can bridge that gap.” 

The bus visited a series of businesses around the city to celebrate the achievement.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive at Social Enterprise UK, said: “We are proud to welcome Norwich to the growing family of Social Enterprise Places in the UK.” 

He added: “As we recover from the devastation of the pandemic it is vital that social enterprises are at the heart of efforts to properly build back better and level up the country.”