Identifying Enterprises for a Homelessness Charity
The Marylebone Project saw the potential for home-grown social enterprises to benefit their service users but wasn’t sure what would work. It wasn’t clear what avenues to pursue or how to assess their suitability.
Workshops with Stakeholders
Cocreate ran a collaborative process with staff and service users to capture potential ideas. It researched successful initiatives in the UK and beyond for learning, and it approached external agencies for their feedback on what would work and how they might be involved. It helped staff to prioritise the main options based on clear criteria for success, which were in line with stakeholders’ feedback and the ethos of the Marylebone Project.
Cocreate proposed an over-arching vision and brand, Made in Marylebone, which included three complementary social enterprise streams, covering catering, craft and hiring out the space. It prepared an indicative financial model to support this, along with recommendations for implementing the proposals. These were presented to the board for sign off, followed by staff and service users.
Delivering an Integrated Enterprise
The outcome of this work was that the Marylebone Project as a whole developed a clearer understanding of what social enterprise should mean for them. For instance, the importance of developing a stronger sense of community through working together emerged as a high priority, as well as training and qualifications to help service users gain confidence and find work.
The board and managers were excited by the vision for social enterprise; women in the Project engaged in shaping it, and the Project is better placed to implement the plan. Cocreate was pleased to be invited back to support the development of what is now Made in Marylebone, advising on business and social impact issues, as well as collaborating with Something and Son on designs proposing how the space could be used better for income generating activities and creative workshops.