Login Dashboard

New programme of free support to start or grow a social enterprise, co-operative or community business in West Yorkshire

Business For Good West Yorkshire (BFGWY) is a new programme of coaching, training and support to help people start-up or grow an ‘alternative business’ in West Yorkshire. This includes social enterprises, co-operatives, community or employee-owned organisations, and those that are for community benefit or have a social or environmental aim.

It is open to anyone in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds or Wakefield who has a good idea or is already running a social enterprise, co-operative or community business and wants to grow and develop. To get started, people can contact their local BFGWY Enterprise Coach for specialist advice, and signposting to other parts of the programme, including start-up workshops, and a growth and resilience learning programme and grants.

In addition, free training is available to business advisors and other business support professionals, such as accountants and solicitors. They can learn about the pros and cons of the different types of alternative business models and how best to support their clients.

The 18-month programme is being run by a partnership of 8 local and national specialist organisations, all of whom are ‘alternative businesses’ themselves. The project is being delivered by TSL Kirklees and is part funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). In West Yorkshire the West Yorkshire Combined Authority leads the implementation of the Fund as part of the Mayor’s ambition to make West Yorkshire the best place to work, learn and live.

Helen Orlic, Programme Lead for lead partner, TSL Kirklees said:

‘We’re looking for businesses and business ideas that invest in local communities, give something back, and are about fairer, more ethical and greener ways to do things, and more than just making a profit.’

Petra Morris, Co-op Development Manager at Co-operatives UK, who have developed the Growth and Resilience part of the programme with School for Social Entrepreneurs, added:

‘These sorts of businesses might be owned and controlled by their members, like Equal Care Co-op in Calderdale that improves social care by putting the power in the hands of both the care workers and those being cared for, or LATCH who turn derelict houses in Leeds into homes and empower their tenants to transform their lives.’

Anthony Waddington, Chief Executive at Participate, who are co-ordinating the Enterprise Coaches said:

‘It might be that a community business can take on an essential local service like a pub, post office or community centre or even a whole shopping centre, like Dewsbury Arcade.

‘Or a social enterprise, like a Community Interest Company (CIC) might offer paid services for those who can afford and free or subsidised services to those who can’t. One example is Hive Huddersfield CIC who run a café that provides a safe space for vulnerable people, supports the local LGBTQ+ community, and offers volunteering and work experience to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues.’

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

‘We are turning our cooperative values into action, increasing the size of the co-op sector and supporting those alternative businesses that help our workers and communities to flourish.

“I’m thrilled that through devolution, we’re investing in the businesses that invest in our communities, changing people’s lives and helping us build a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire.’

For more information visit bfgwy.org.uk or email info@bfgwy.org.uk.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus https://www.wybusiness-skills.com/business-support/growth-support/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-ukspf/

By Agency For Good

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved

Accessibility Toolbar