The Somerset Micro-enterprise programme is a partnership between Somerset County Council, 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
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.
Or for a downloadable directory please see Somerset Community Micro-enterprise Directory
Evidence that it works
Since 2015, we have supported the development of 350 brand new and 110 established community enterprises (and that number’s rising).
Collectively they are supporting 1500 older people and provide 360 jobs to local people. Together they provide 9000 hours of care or support a week.
The project has received more than 1200 enquiries from people who want to set up small enterprises.
This increased capacity of local, responsive supports has meant that
- 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
How to become a micro-provider
The programme offers help, advice and specialist signposting to anyone with an idea to develop and set up a small service. To be part of the development programme and receive this free support people need to complete the Our offer to Community Micro-providers in Somerset form and commit to working towards the Community Micro-enterprise Programme ‘Doing it Right’ Quality Standards .
To access this support and to share your ideas, contact Enterprise Development Worker Rhys Davies on RPDavies@somerset.gov.uk or 07788350806, or complete the Our offer to Community Micro-providers in Somerset form.
Your feedback is essential to the development of the Micro-enterprise Programme.
We want to celebrate and share great stories of support, but equally we want to hear where things have gone wrong or could go better.
If you have used the services of a Community Micro-provider and wish to share your experience, please use this form to feedback to us.
Somerset Community Micro-enterprise Directory – List of all providers supported through the programme.
So you want to be a Micro-provider? – Guide by Somerset’s award winning micro-provider Alex Roland from ‘Your IT Now’