LESL has a dedicated team working with the "Enterprising Third Sector", which includes social enterprises, housing associations, credit unions, and other socially-based firms.
Specialist and impartial advice helps these organisations as they develop and grow. It focuses on improving the organisation's long-term sustainability, whilst also reducing its reliance on grant funding and the public sector.
Our team has a real specialist knowledge and understanding of the social enterprise concept, and of the aspiring third sector. Specific work has included:
- Completing business development reviews
- Advising and helping with financial management
- Advising on collaborative working and forming co-operatives
- Advising and supporting on tendering of services
- Helping to identify and develop commercial opportunities across the business
- Supporting the establishment of trading subsidiaries and spin-outs
- Advising on starting-up businesses
- Developing business plans.
LESL has delivered the Beyond BG programme in Lanarkshire. That has included supporting 30 new-start social enterprises, advising more than 150 social enterprises, and backing the creation of 175 new jobs and increased turnover of nearly £7.5m (2010 data).
LESL also delivers training specifically for the third sector, including master-classes on the potential of inter-trading and collabroate working. These have been delivered to more than 50 social enterprises in Lanarkshire on behalf of the local Social Economy Partnership.