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The Director’s Take – 16/11/2020

By November 16, 2020January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates, The Director's Take


Exeter Chamber's communications series, The Director's Take, sees a different Chamber board director provide regular updates and insight on leading news stories for business each month. This week, Helen Scholes, Chamber board director and marketing manager of Co Cars, gives us her take.


This week’s Directors Take from Helen Scholes:

Ahead of Social Enterprise Day this week, we thought this would be a great opportunity to share and highlight what a social enterprise does and why they are hugely valuable to the economy.


What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive social change.  Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies.

Well known examples include The Big Issue, Divine Chocolate and the Eden Project but there are over 100,000 social enterprises throughout the country contributing £60 billion to the economy and employing two million people. Find out more on:

Social Enterprise Day 2020 is on Thursday 19 November, and is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. This year has been a turbulent one for most businesses including social enterprises but we know that across the world social enterprises have been at the heart of community responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more:

Find out more about Exeter's social economy with ESSENCE – Exeter’s thriving Social Enterprise Network
As a Network of Social Enterprises, ESSENCE of Exeter CIC (ESSENCE) provide a lifeline of support to social enterprises/charities/community groups in Exeter and surrounding area who, in turn, provide services for our most vulnerable individuals and communities. Find out more and how they are celebrating Social Enterprise Day this week:

There are a number of social enterprises across Exeter operating across various different sectors. Here are a few below: 

Based in Devon, Cosmic is a Social Enterprise which specialises in digital skills training, digital consultancy, IT technical support and website development. Cosmic’s vision is to inspire people to achieve success in the Digital world. Digital inclusion is at the heart of all they do. Cosmic work to achieve social impact and improve people's lives. Their reason for existence is to support People, protect the Planet, and drive Prosperity within our communities. They reinvest their profits back into their services to help achieve this.

Chime Social Enterprise
Chime are your local hearing experts, providing audiology services on behalf of the NHS in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. They are a not-for-profit social enterprise who provide NHS services free at the point of delivery for our patients. Chime is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which means that we have the freedom to invest any surplus funds we make into making our services even better for our patients.

Co Cars
Our mission is to provide low carbon, on demand, affordable shared mobility for all. We do this through our network of hire-by-the-hour cars and vans, Co Bikes on-street electric bike hire and Co Delivery e-cargo bike delivery services. We are powered by renewable energy from Good Energy and are proud to be a not-for-profit cooperative social enterprise.
Why not find out a bit more and join us for our Virtual Coffee Club on Social Enterprise Day this week (19 Nov) – join us via the link here:

REMINDER: Coronavirus Business Impact Survey
Back in April we ran a survey to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the Greater Exeter business community. At the time, two thirds of those who responded said it had been 'severe'. Six months on, as we experience a second nationwide lockdown we want to 'take the temperature' of businesses across Greater Exeter again.
Your responses are greatly valued and will be collated and shared with local government organisations to help support their planning and the feedback they provide to central government.
Please complete this short survey to help us understand the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on your business. 

InExeter launch #ShopLocal Christmas film
Filmed by Moments to Media, watch InExeter's first ever Christmas film to see how Exeter's businesses are preparing their stores. The lights are being turned on, the tinsel is out and the smiles are spreading. Despite the difficulties of a hard year, Exeter’s businesses are still making the city’s heart beat. Please help them to keep doing that, #ShopLocal this Christmas. Watch the Christmas film here.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
Businesses required to close due to national ‘lockdown’ restrictions will receive grants of up to £3,000 per 28-day period under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed). 
When the grants scheme is launched, it will be announced on Exeter City Council's news website.