Free support programme for social enterprise start-ups

Cllr Josh Babarinde OBE

Lewes District Council is launching a free programme of support for residents who are interested in starting up their own social enterprise.

The council is funding the initiative and partnering with not-for-profit agency Edeal to deliver the programme which begins with a free two-hour virtual workshop on Thursday, January 27, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Josh Babarinde OBE, an award-winning Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, will be running the Zoom workshop called Kickstarting a Social Enterprise.

He founded Cracked It, a social enterprise tech repair service supporting ex-offenders away from crime and into employment. Cracked It was named Social Enterprise of the Year in 2018 and in 2019.

Now Josh advises social enterprises on how to maximise their trading and their impact, as well as supporting social entrepreneurs to develop their leadership skills.His two-hour online workshop will cover:  

  • What is a social enterprise?  
  • What are the steps involved in setting up a social enterprise?  
  • Where can you access further support in order to start a social enterprise?  
  • How do you form an action plan to progress your idea for a social enterprise? 

Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet member for Communities and Customers, who is also an experienced social and co-operative entrepreneur and adviser, said: “Social enterprises bring an array of community benefits and we want to grow the number of these in Lewes district.

“So if you have a business idea that could tackle social problems, support local people, help the environment or provide training and employment opportunities – then please join our free online workshop."

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “Social enterprises are a key part of our plans to develop a sustainable local economy for the future that retains wealth locally, makes our district an even better place to live and creates new jobs. I hope as many residents as possible seize this opportunity to create positive social change.”

Councillor James MacCleary, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said: “This programme provides people with the knowledge and guidance they need to start up their own social enterprise so I strongly encourage anyone with an interest to sign up."

Following the initial workshop, participants will be offered further help to progress their social enterprise through an additional workshop and one-to-one support.

For more information visit

To book your place, email or call 01323 641144.