The Engine Room

A network for social enterprises, offering a business support programme for pre-start up and start up businesses that have a social purpose at the core of their business idea.

For businesses or entrepreneurs who are:

Delivered by experts in the social enterprise world, the Engine Room offers the following opportunities:

The programme:

Through the European Regional Development Funded (ERDF) the Engine Room is providing support for pre-start up and start-up businesses that have a social purpose. The support is delivered by three partners –

Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) – with expertise in working with a range of sectors including the creative and cultural sector, devolution of services from local authorities, educational offers, digital, health and well-being.

School for Social Entrepreneurs, Cornwall (SSE) – with expertise in a range of different sectors, drawing on their particular experience of running the successful SSE Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change (CN4C) – with expertise in those who have a great idea for self-employment, a particular experience with working with charities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

All three partners are leaders in supporting and running social enterprises. Using years of experience, drawing on national networks and current thinking and a highly successful tried and tested model The Engine Room offers specialist training, events and intensive 1:1 coaching and guidance. We can help people breakdown the barriers to starting ethical businesses in Cornwall.

Eligibility criteria:

• You must be resident in Cornwall throughout the duration of the programme

• Your business must be based in Cornwall i.e. registered/will be registered in Cornwall

• Your proposed business sector must be eligible for funding (please speak to one of our team)

• You must be a new business or a registered business/sole trader for less than 12 months

The Offer:

Depending of what stage you and your business idea is at, we will work with you to create a bespoke plan of business support. This will be made up of the following elements of the Engine Room offer:

Information and networking events – involving interesting and inspiring speakers and challenged base activities to help to explore ideas, find out more about the social enterprise approach, meet other social enterprises and discover what the Engine Room can offer. Events will cover a range of themes and areas and will be driven by the needs of our ER clients. Topics will include – social finance and investment, registering your business, exploring the viability of your business idea, making the most of social media, governance, marketing, measuring social impact, pricing your product of service, business idea reviews, business modelling, measuring social impact and governance/structures for social purpose, group and 1 to 1 discussions.

Business Development support – either through group support or individual 1 to 1 business coaching and mentoring. This will be delivered by one of our social enterprise consultants and will be tailored to your business idea’s need and ambitions.

Engine Room Website – an online resource for social enterprises in Cornwall including: events listings, Buy Social page, key resources to help to support the development of business ideas. All Engine Room clients will be eligible for a free listing on the website.

Duration of support:

Each business that signs up to the Engine Room will receive a minimum of 12 hours support throughout the length of the programme, delivered through a mix of events, workshops and one-to-one support.

Depending on what stage the social enterprise idea is at, businesses will be given a tailored programme of support whether you are at the very beginning of exploring your business idea that has a social purpose at its heart; through to those that have been established for less than 12 months and want to explore opportunities to grow and scale their social and financial impact and who are in the position to create employment opportunities.

Are you interested?

Please fill out the form 


For further information:

Visit the website www.theengineroom.org.uk

or email us on info@theengineroom.org.uk

To contact the Engine Room Partners Directly:

Real Ideas Organisation – 08458 621288 or tamzyn.smith@realideas.org

School of Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall – 01872 306130 or sally.jones@ssecornwall.org

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change – 0800 328 4065 or enquiries@cn4c.org.uk