New partnership to improve opportunities for social enterprises.
West Midlands Trains and the School for Social Entrepreneurs have announced a new partnership, to help encourage the growth of social enterprises in the region.
As part of the agreement, West Midlands Trains will be providing mentoring for the school’s students to help in the development of a range of initiatives.
The two organisations will also be working together to help bring vacant rooms in station buildings back to use, by creating spaces for social entrepreneurs to work from. Over 170 businesses are being assessed for the scheme. These not for profit ventures all strive to make a positive contribution to the social, economic or environmental well being of the area.
Many social enterprises are run by survivors of various social problems, who want to help others and make a positive contribution to their local community. They are also completely self-funded through their activities.
Furthermore, West Midlands Trains is also looking at the potential for social enterprises to become part of the company’s supply chain – giving organisations the chance to expand and grow.
Francis Thomas, head of corporate affairs at West Midlands Trains said: “Our partnership with SSE is an important step in our commitment to support the progress and prosperity of the communities we serve. We manage over 150 stations across the rail network. Many of these have great potential to be used more effectively and it would be exciting to see a variety of social enterprises using these spaces.”
Charles Rapson, CEO of SSE Midlands said: “We are delighted to partner with West Midlands Trains. This will help us continue to develop Social Enterprise in the region – not for profit businesses that address social issues.
Over the past five years, the 176 businesses we have helped start have created over 300 jobs, generated over half a million hours of volunteer support and helped more than 25,000 disadvantaged people across the region. The partnership with West Midlands Trains helps towards our continued efforts over the next five years.”