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Social Enterprise: Poverty & Regeneration

How important is the role of social enterprise in reducing UK poverty and regenerating our communities?

As we go through this period of austerity, we’re seeing an increasing number of people suffering hardship and a rise in the risk of people falling into and getting trapped in poverty. The cost of poverty to the economy runs into billions of pounds each year. So what role can and does social enterprise play in addressing poverty issues, regenerating our economy, and giving us hope?

This Meetup will explore how social enterprises are leading social change in our communities by delivering critical services, helping the unemployed and driving economic regeneration, helping to improve our social and economic prospects.

Our panel of expert speakers from government, local authority and the social enterprise sector will lead us in discussing the role of social enterprise in poverty reduction and regeneration, and will share their insights and best practice into what works well and what is needed. As part of this discussion, we will also consider the importance of the Social Value Act. Our speakers include,

Harsha Patel is the founder of Doing Social, a social sector professional with an MBA in Capacity Building. Over the last decade, she has supported the creation and development of over 150 social organisations and entrepreneurs in community settings. Harsha is passionate about designing projects that can develop the capacity of deprived communities to create, lead or be involved in sustainable community ventures that regenerate communities, address poverty issues and lead to social mobility.

Karen Bellamy. Over the past fifteen years Karen has been closely involved in community development and has received awards and recognition locally, nationally and internationally for her innovative approach. In 2010, Karen was elected to the office of Councillor for the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Higham Hill Ward - one of the most deprived wards in the United Kingdom. Within six months Karen was unanimously elected Chair of her political group. Karen now holds the portfolio for Child and Family Poverty and is already leading on a number of projects gaining recognition as beacons of good practice.

Charlotte Chung who works to engage social enterprises with the government's business growth and green agenda, and is the policy lead on Social Investment and Finance Programme for Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK is the national body for social enterprise. They represent their members to support and help grow the social enterprise movement. Their members include private businesses, charities and public sector organisations who support the vision of a world where social enterprise is the usual way of doing business.

In delivering this event, we are pleased to be supported by a new social enterprise – ‘Doing Social’, and this event will also mark the official launch of this organisation. Doing Social was founded in late-2012 with a very clear purpose: to offer inspiring programmes that will help people living in areas of deprivation to innovate and test ideas for social change so they can create (or ideally co-create) sustainable social ventures that address local poverty issues and deprivation.

We have 100 places available and we are expecting this to be a popular discussion and networking event. If your organisation (or another you may know) could be interested in sponsoring or having a stand at this event, please contact us at the earliest opportunity.


This meeting is being supported by The London Borough of Waltham Forest and their Families Directorate and we are grateful for that support.



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  • Michael Y.

    For those genuinely interested in helping to solve the massive problem of malnutrition in children under the ages of 5 where around 15,000 kids a day are actually dying (UN figures)

    There is a meeting this Sat at 5pm in Central London where you
    can learn how its actually quite simple to address the issue.

    personal message me for further information

    September 26, 2013

  • David H.

    Hi, I produce & film corporate videos to enhance your potenial business revenue - give me call[masked] or email [masked] to discuss how you could promote your business with a slick video, Showreel -

    September 18, 2013

  • Michael Y.

    for those interested in saving the High Street shops there will be another meeting tonite at a location just off Tottenham Court Road, private message me for full details if you are able to attend
    The meeting is totally free all it will cost you is a bit of time
    starts sharp at 7.30pm

    September 17, 2013

  • Michael Y.

    anyone interested in learning about the strategy to save the High Street shops should contact me directly asap as there will be a meeting in Central London this Mon 7pm highlighting
    all the details of how the strategy works.
    The meeting is totally free to attend all it will cost you is around
    90 mins of your time.

    September 6, 2013

  • ANA R.

    Totally agree Spain economy would not be in tatters now and we such disgraceful rate of unemployment if it had invest in productive economy not in distributive, not quite sure why Senake includes socially owned enterprises in the distributive category. I honestly believe that socially owned enterprises can be productive and given the amount of international companies that flog their cash to tax havens instead of reinvesting profits on the community they take their earnings from , this will be a good way to fight back the bad effects of globalization in national economies.

    September 2, 2013

  • ANA R.

    Sorry unfortunately I had an awful lot of family matter to solve in my return from holidays and forgot to change my RSVP, will check the link at the bottom to catch up.

    September 2, 2013

  • Jed K.

    The food was absolutely astoundingly delicious. The panel were a bit lightweight.

    August 30, 2013

    • Anja B.

      Failing that, here's a link to the ABCD Europe network website and resources for anyone interested in finding out more:

      August 31, 2013

    • Anja B.

      1 · August 31, 2013

  • Michael Y.

    arrived a bit late but the presentations and discussion thereafter was interesting.
    High St shops are in serious danger and unless they are flexible
    to think outside of the box and adopt new ideas they will not
    thrive in an economy such as we are experiencing now.

    As 4G becomes more prominent Mobile Marketing will become
    more highly sought after and I am not talking about spam messages which people already get I am talking about people
    opting into messages because they value the deals that they
    can get.

    The technology I am talking about is a one off purchase and
    then one can send unlimited messages to customers mobile
    phones for no other cost, this will help redefine how people
    shop both online and offline.

    Failure to run with the times will see more ending up like
    HMV, Comet, Woolies and the rest.

    August 30, 2013

  • Ruby

    Very informative, engaging presenters and enjoyable event, accompanied by great food!

    1 · August 30, 2013

    • Harsha P.

      Thanks for your support and help yesterday (and for that big smile!).

      1 · August 30, 2013

    • Ruby

      My pleasure!

      August 30, 2013

  • ray k.

    A very good meeting with impressive speakers who really are doing things and making a difference. I came away with the idea that social enterprise could be a major economic force in the future and is a key to alleviating poverty. Some people seemed to think that social enterprise is filling a gap where government has reduced its role and this is a bad and, or a temporary thing. I think government interference in everyone's life is a major cause of dependency culture and therefore of poverty. The sooner and further we roll it back and retrain people to be independent and look after themselves and their families the quicker poverty will be reduced. Social enterprise must have a major role in that.

    3 · August 30, 2013

    • Harsha P.

      Absolutely - Agree with all your points. This is a huge opportunity for the sector to lead this agenda and for communities to explore more creative and relevant ways to address issues - which should increase aspirations, strengthen their capacity and achieve greater earning potential. That's exactly what we're trying to achieve.

      1 · August 30, 2013

  • Mary

    Interesting meet up lots of ideas and challenges to the role of social enterprises in tackling poverty. Please could we have fair trade wine next time?

    1 · August 29, 2013

    • Harsha P.

      Good idea if there is a budget! Time and money dictated yesterday (we got some good deals), but I agree.

      August 30, 2013

  • Harsha P.

    The food was brilliant - well done and thank you to Alicia for all her hard work preparing the food - she even missed the event getting everything ready for us.

    1 · August 30, 2013

  • B S.

    Great venue, food and good motivational talk.

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • Howard S.

    Good range of speakers and varied questions -excellent food and drink!

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • Mel L.

    So sorry, was planning on coming tonight, but got so much on I just can't....see you next time. Hope it goes well.

    August 29, 2013

  • roger

    Sorry I can't make it tomorrow. Next time

    August 28, 2013

  • Ivo

    Would like to come but involved in a family wedding that day...

    August 28, 2013

  • B S.

    Looking forward to attending :)

    August 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately, I will be out of the country. What a pity to miss such an interesting meeting!

    August 8, 2013

  • John


    July 26, 2013

  • terence f.

    sadly busy

    July 26, 2013

150 went

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