First Steps In Social Enterprise is free and open to existing  and aspiring  social entrepreneurs from BME (Black and Ethnic Minority) backgrounds.

You can apply if you:
  • Are a sole trader, or have a skill and want to develop a business that benefits the community
  • Have a social enterprise idea / social enterprise at an early stage
  • Want to develop a social enterprise model from an existing community organisation
  • Are an entrepreneur that wants to develop a social enterprise
  • Are a working and/or living in Barking & Dagenham

The programme is designed to support aspiring social entrepreneurs’ ideas through a structured 12-week programme.

The programme includes:
  • 10 full day sessions 10-4
  • Complimentary online package & moderated Facebook group
  • Online option
  • Applications open November 1st 2018 and close on January 16th 2019
  • Shortlisting & Interviewing process : January 17th – 20th (Applicant are advised to keep the dates free in advance of the programme)
  • Programme duration : from January 23rd – March 31st 2019
If you think that your social enterprise or your social enterprise idea can benefit from First Step in Social Enterprise programme

Download and complete the Application form

Please send the completed forms back to:

You can also send hard copies to: First Steps In Social Enterprise Programme, Olmec, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 OQH.

If you require further information, want to discuss the programme, or if you need help in filling in these forms, please call us on 0207 688 8019 or 07872 507489 or email

More about the programme

What they say about First Steps:

“Wonderful structure and very student-centric, Sam Obeng is a superb trainer”
First Steps participant

“First Steps taught me what ‘fit for purpose’ really means”
Annetta Bennet, Impact Diversion

First Steps in Social Enterprise is a 10 week training and mentoring business support programme delivered by high quality experienced specialists designed for minority/migrant led or benefiting social enterprises. You will work through your social enterprise idea in a peer environment. First Steps in Social Enterprise systematically helps you understand and map the mission critical areas of a business plan, engaging practical tools, legal and financial knowledge, and business theory to your social enterprise. You will work through the product, the market, the viability, human resources, profitability, delivery plan, quality assurance systems and social impact issues in a peer context.