The Somerset Micro-enterprise programme is a partnership with Community Catalysts CIC and The Community Council for Somerset, which aims to support the development of very small, community based care and support services that:
- provide personal, flexible and responsive support and care
- give local people more choice and control over the support they get
- offer an alternative to more traditional services
What is a micro-enterprise?
To be a micro-enterprise they must have eight or fewer paid or unpaid workers and be totally independent of any larger organisation. Examples of micro- services could include:
- Support to keep well, socialise and remain independent
- Support to people living in their own homes
- Short breaks and holidays
- Support to access employment, education and leisure
- Day support and help around the home.
The evidence it works
In Somerset over 3 ½ years we have supported the development of 223 brand new and 56 established community enterprises (and rising). Collectively they are supporting 900 older people and provide 240 jobs to local people. Together they provide 3300 hours of care or support a week. The project has received in excess of 700 enquiries from people wanting to set up small enterprises.
The impact it has
- People are well-supported at home or in the community by people from their neighbourhood
- Support is co-designed. Creative people on both sides of the care equation finding ways to do things differently
- People can work locally, earn an income and make a positive difference
- People and families know good support is available. As a result people come home earlier from hospital. More people choose to take a Direct Payment
- People stay connected to their community, contributing and avoiding loneliness
- Money is saved as the cost of care delivered by community enterprises is cheaper
So how do I become a Micro-provider?
The programme offers help, advice and specialist signposting. To be part of the programme, each new or developing provider must commit to working towards the “Somerset Standards”. For more information about what this means please read Our offer to Community Micro-providers in Somerset. To access this support and to share your ideas contact Enterprise Development Worker Rhys Davies on RPDavies@somerset.gov.uk or 07788350806.
Where can I find my local Micro-providers?
For the latest directory of community providers in Somerset please see: - visit www.somersetchoices.org.uk or www.smallgoodstuff.co.uk.
Can I feedback my experience of using a Micro-provider?
We welcome feedback about providers who are part of the programme. We like to celebrate great stories of support but equally reserve the right to remove providers from the programme who do not meet our standards. To feedback your experience please use the details below.