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 businesses’ 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 business coach and get some expert advice, and signposting to other parts of the programme, including start-up workshops, accelerator .  They can learn about the pros and cons of the different alternative  andthe programmes and innovation grants.

Helen Orlic, Programme Lead for TSL Kirklees said, ‘We’re looking for businesses and business ideas that want to invest in local communities, give something back, be fairer, ethical and greener, and are about more than just making a profit.  tThese 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.  Other community businesses might take on a local pub, post office or community centre to keep it running, or even a shopping centre, like Dewsbury Arcade.  A Community Interest Company (CIC) might offer paid services for those who can afford and free or subsidised services to those who can’t, or like Hive Huddersfield CIC, run a café that provides a safe space for vulnerable people, supports the local LGBTQ+ community, an offers volunteering and work experience to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues.’

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