Spotlight on Community Empowerment Ltd.

Spotlight on Community Empowerment Ltd

Community Empowerment Ltd. specialises in co-operative and mutual solutions. The charity offers a variety of services with the aim of placing power on communities. Community Empowerment Ltd. provides free advice to people interested in starting up a co-operative social enterprise. Programmes assist individuals and enterprises with developing sustainable and successful business models that create employment opportunities. The democratic society champions self-help and strives to place power at the community level. Community Empowerment Ltd. offers services that provide tools to individuals that help foster benefits for the broader society and communities.

About Community Empowerment Ltd.

Community Empowerment Ltd. is a not-for-profit organisation that brings together individuals and groups interested in creating and placing power at the community level. The organisation was founded in 1998. The self-described democratic charitable society is membership based and based on a one-member, one-vote model. Community Empowerment Ltd. champions self-help in order to achieve shared objectives that benefit the community. The organisation is a member of Co-operatives UK, the central organisation for the United Kingdom's co-operative enterprise sector. Community Empowerment Ltd. is supported by membership fees, as well as donations and grants. The charity's advisory and training services are provided in association with The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which offers free advice, training and access to financing for co-operative enterprises.

Mandate and Values

According to Community Empowerment Ltd., the organisation supports "those that are prepared to support themselves and others". The organisation applies a business model that upholds co-operative values and principles. Community empowerment defines a co-operative as an "autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspiration through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise". The charity values democracy, equality, equity, mutual self-help, responsibility and solidarity. Community Empowerment Ltd. also supports co-operative enterprises that are autonomous and independent, have voluntary and open membership, be controlled by members democratically, provide member education and training, and demonstrate concern for the community.

Services

Community Empowerment Ltd. is involved in welfare-to-work programmes that assist people in improving their employability. This is done primarily through the Community Routes into Employment project. This initiative provides secondment opportunities with community organisations for unemployed volunteers. Community Empowerment Ltd. is also involved in similar projects that support the growth and sustainability of social and co-operative enterprises, such as the affiliated Community Interest Company and Co-operative Admin Solutions for enterprises. Co-operative Admin Solutions provides administrative solutions and other support services for co-operatives, social enterprises, charities and other community organisations. Similarly, Co-operative Service Solutions offers a social laboratory and incubator for the development and growth of community enterprises.

One of the primarily roles of Community Empowerment Ltd. is to provide free advice to those looking to start a co-operative social enterprise. The organisation provides assistance with developing successful projects and strategies that will foster community empowerment. Community Empowerment Ltd. also offers critical assessments of individual needs and provides advice on appropriate legal structures, organisation design and registration with Co-operatives UK Ltd.

In addition to these advisory services, Community Empowerment Ltd. operates The People's Forum (www.empoerus.co). The website provides a public forum to share advice and information. The People's Forum also features information on grants schemes, news and discussion boards. The membership-based website is free and also offers information on government projects and a volunteer exchange. The People's Forum is part of Community Empowerment Ltd.'s Co-operative Education Solutions, which is a mutual self-help programme that also offers customised training courses and employment placements.

Contact Information

The registered office for Community Empowerment Ltd. is: Third Floor, Bank Chambers, 115 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, PO1 1BU, UK. The charity also operates two regional offices in London and Bournemouth. The London Region office is located at The Old Mortuary, St. Marychurch Street, London, SE16 4JE. The South West Region office is found at 1436 Wimborne Road, Kinson, Bournemouth, BH10 7AS.

Enquires for Community Empowerment Ltd. may be directed by email to develop@empower.coop. By phone, the organisation may be reached on 023 9217 8483. Additional information is also found on Community Empowerment Ltd.'s website at www.empower.coop.