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ROSE (Rural Opportunities in Social Enterprise)

Ngage developed, promoted and managed this focused project on behalf of the Buckinghamshire College of Agriculture from 2007 to 2008.

ROSE reached out to Social Enterprises (SEs) in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, promoting positive social and environmental change within local communities.

The programme aimed to support the formation of new SEs and also to increase survival rates of rural retail units under financial threat. ROSE helped these become new Social Enterprises providing a sustainable alternative to commercial enterprise while maintaining rural services and facilities.

Ngage identified specialist network and consultancy services that could work together to provide a seamless “one stop shop”. These included financial start up packages from VIRSA, the Village Retail Services Association, combined with the networking expertise of Bucks & Milton Keynes Social Enterprise Network (BMKSEN).

The challenge was to engage a dispersed and sometimes difficult-to-reach market. The package of support was marketed by Ngage directly using e-shots, newsletter copy, letters and a factsheet distributed to target rural customers on our regional database of SMEs. The information was also disseminated through grassroots contacts in local Parish and District Councils with awareness-raising through local media coverage.

By March 2008, 26 rural social beneficiaries had been supported with visits and support phone calls. A support pack has been developed for Social Enterprises for use after the life time of project.

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