Real Ideas Organisation

Who are we? RIO is a pioneering social enterprise supporting people to build better futures. RIO applies imaginative ethical business thinking across a wide range of sectors, from schools, education and learning to regeneration and creative commercial ventures. Organising great ideas into reality is what they do.

What do we do? RIO has a proven track record in working with businesses to help get their social enterprises off the ground, turning ideas into concrete and successful business ventures.

They provide support to Cornwall-based social enterprises through the Engine Room programme, using their expertise to support start-up and established enterprises.

Through RIO-led learning programmes, adults and young people get the opportunity to learn essential employability skills, taking on a creative or enterprise approach.

A two-week ‘Creative Approaches’ learning programme saw students from City College Plymouth organise, promote and run a Children’s Film Club event, and gained the Arts Award qualification at the same time.

In a Liskeard-based ‘Enterprise and Employability’ learning programme, adults and young people created their own social enterprise project, and gained RIO’s own accredited Social Enterprise Qualification.

RIO worked with Rogue Theatre and the Liskeard Town Team in 2013 to deliver a ‘Secret Fridays’ cultural programme for young people. Unemployed 16-19 year olds were given the chance to get involved in organising a different ‘Secret Friday’ event in Liskeard every month, encouraging the community to come together and enjoy live music, activities and more. The young people were given full responsibility for each event from initial planning to delivery, and at the end of the programme, many of the young people went on to volunteer or work with RIO on a longer-term basis.

Engine Room case study:As well as a number of start-ups, ranging from eco surfboards to using containers to provide accommodation for homeless people, we are supporting several existing organisations to move from the public or charity sector into a social enterprise. One example is the Cornwall Association of Primary Heads (CAPH), a long standing membership body, currently within Cornwall Council, who are moving into a newly formed CIC in order to develop a range of socially enterprising approaches, partnerships and services to better meet the needs of Primary Head Teachers and schools in Cornwall.

Our support includes working with CAPH to develop an effective legal and organisational structure; supporting negotiations with Cornwall Council around the business case they require to sanction the move; and helping them to build a robust financial model that not only reduces reliance on public subsidy, but increases the services CAPH can offer. For example, CAPH have already joined forces with the neighbouring primary heads association in Plymouth (PAPH) who have been a social enterprise for a couple of years, during which time they have set up a successful service managing supply teachers, the profits from which are enabling PAPH to invest in new initiatives

In addition to this support, RIO has also been able to attend and deliver several key events this year. RIO attended the Royal Cornwall Show to help represent the show’s new Social Enterprise Zone. RIO went along as part of the Engine Room project to talk to customers about the programme and explain how RIO, as a social enterprise, could provide expert business support to other businesses.

RIO also provided the venue space for the Big Potential social investment event at Devonport Guildhall. We worked with Plymouth Social Enterprise Network to promote and deliver this event in the South West, as well as providing operational support on the day.

26 Fore Street, Liskeard, Cornwall, PL14 3JB
T 08458 621288
E info@realideas.org

Twitter : @realideasorg