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An initiative, delivered in partnership between Dorset Council and social enterprise experts Community Catalysts is being piloted in parts of the county.
The two year programme offers support to local people to set up and run their own business offering help at home for older people or others that need some support. The project is focussing on Sherborne Rural and Three Valleys in West Dorset and Blackmore Vale and Winterbourne in North Dorset – all areas where care and support can be difficult to get hold of, due to their rural locations.
As well as helping people to set up new businesses, Community Catalysts can advise existing community enterprises already established in Dorset who are looking to diversify or extend what they offer.
We can help anyone with talents, passion and local knowledge to set up a business. The thing our community enterprises have in common is that they all want to help local people live a good life.
Community enterprises can be set up in a variety of ways, as a sole trader, partnership, small business, social enterprise, charity or voluntary organisation.
To be eligible for support, they must have eight or fewer full-time staff or volunteers and be independent of any larger organisation.
We will build on things that already work well in the community and look to work with people, groups and organisations with strong local knowledge and expertise. The project aims to capture learning and actively use this to improve the way that health and care works for everyone in the county.
The project in Dorset and a parallel initiative in Shropshire are supported by a partnership with technology company Bronze Labs and their Tribe web platform. The Tribe Project provides an app that matches people who need care and support with local people and organisations who can help.
Community Catalysts have a huge amount of experience helping local people establish community enterprises. Your local Catalyst can:
Community Catalysts can support people who have an idea that could help people in local communities and want to explore it further, or those who are currently running a community enterprise that helps older or disabled people, and who may want to diversify or extend what they do. They can also help people who are interested in starting a new community enterprise.
They would also like to connect with people, organisations, businesses or groups across Dorset who have an interest in building stronger communities.
For more information please contact Anita Wingad, Community Enterprise Catalyst and lead for the project in Dorset.