Could social enterprise be your New Year Resolution?

Starting a social enterprises – a business that operates for social good – can seem a particularly daunting prospect in retirement. But it’s well worth while, says guest blogger Gillian Easson of Nesta, and help is at hand in the form of a new guide.

Rooted Guide

Rooted Guide

Rooted is a new practical guide to support social entrepreneurship in later life. It provides clear, step-by-step practical advice and resources for people considering starting up their own social or community-run venture.

The guide has been created by Nesta, an organisation which supports innovation in the UK, in partnership with UnLtd, who support social entrepreneurs. These organisations recognise that often people retiring from the work place feel that their views are no longer heard; however they know that individuals want to continue to earn, learn and use their skills and expertise in new creative and enterprising ways.

Nesta has supported a number of social entrepreneurs through its Age Unlimited Scotland programme including Mamie Donald who runs Edinburgh-based Third Age Computer Fun, a relaxed and informal computer club that helps people over 50 to build their confidence and enrich their lives through learning to use computers and the internet. Ena Brown is another social entrepreneur who runs the Hub Café in East Kilbride which tackles social isolation in the very old by providing opportunities for people to be entertained and socialise in a welcoming café setting.

It’s not only the people attending the Hub Café who benefit from the project, Ena also gains a lot from it, ‘You really feel you’re bringing the community together, providing a service that people really enjoy and a meeting place where they can strike up friendships with people they have never met before’.

Although it can be daunting to think about setting up a brand new project; both entrepreneurs started with just the seed of a good idea. That is why Rooted has been created – to support people who have the passion and the beginnings of a good idea, but are unsure where to start.

How can the Rooted guide help you? This free guide will help you clarify your thinking and communicate your ideas effectively, through: assessing your personal skills, knowledge and values; exploring the viability of the idea by defining what it is you want to do and why; then finally investigating how to ensure your idea becomes a sustainable social venture, rooted in your community.

The guide is available online here:  or if you would like a complimentary paperback copy/copies posted to you, please do get in touch with your postal address, by emailing or telephoning: 01382 229521.

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