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Social Enterprise Knowledge Exchange Network (SEKEN)

SEKEN promotes social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, through peer networking knowledge exchange, awareness raising events, research, and workshops, for new and existing small and micro social enterprises.

St Mary’s University - partnering with RUILS and Richmond Borough Council to build a collaborative and coordinated approach to support the development of micro and small social enterprises.

Who SEKEN supports

Individuals, community groups and organisations  that are looking to start up or grow businesses with primarily social/environmental objectives, whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or community rather than mainly being paid to shareholders and owners.

Our network comprises over 100 individuals and stakeholders all with a vested interest in social enterprise. We run and facilitate networking events, and targeted workshops throughout the year.  Members of the network are added to our mailing list and are the first to receive notifications of upcoming events.  Membership and almost all events are free. 

Helping you understand the value of social enterprise for social, environmental and economic benefit. Share in local, national and international expertise and knowledge, and access to research in social enterprise.

The Social Enterprise Guide

Research and publications

  • Davis, F. (2005) .Faith In Social Enterprise. Triodos Bank/Christian Socialist Movement.
  • Maher, C. (2015a). Public Policies Impact on Third Sector Social Enterprises in UK Regions. Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurial Success and its Impact on Regional Development, 246-266.
  • Maher, C. (2015b). Social enterprise manager's career path preferences. International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 7(1), 59-72.
  • Maher, C. (2016). ‘Career anchors of social enterprise managers in the UK – an empirical analysis’, J. International Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Vol. 9, No. 4,pp.398–416.
  • Maher, C. (2017). Understanding the impact of organisational culture on social enterprise managerial careers in Exploring the Influence of Personal Values and Cultures in the Workplace. IGI Global, USA.
  • Maher, C. (2017). Implications for Small Third Sector Social Enterprises in UK Regions. Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Social Dynamics in a Globalized World, 126.

Find out more

For further information about SEKEN, or if you would like to attend a SEKEN event, please contact:

SEKEN events

This workshop was be delivered by Lizette van Niekerk. Lizette has been leading fundraising and marketing teams in the charity sector for thirteen years. She was also a Visiting Lecturer for the MA Charity Management Programme at St Mary’s University for six years.

Lizette now runs consulting firm JavisFields Ltd advising charities and small companies on how to get the best out of their data protection policies. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Direct Marketing Association and the Institute of Fundraising.

This workshop explores:

  • Practical ways that individuals and community groups can develop their entrepreneurial ideas.
  • Funding opportunities available to community-run businesses and cooperatives.
  • Richard Harries: Director of the Power to Change Research Institute
  • Stu Thomason: CEO of Business Launchpad

The workshop covered how to:

  • Establish the objectives you want to achieve
  • Assess your business environment including opportunities, threats etc.
  • Formulate and implement a strategy to get started
Facilitator: Paul Shaw

Senior consultant at Business Doctors, a national network of advisers that help the owners on small and medium sized enterprises grow their business and achieve their vision.

Delegates talking to each other
Delegate taking notes
Panel listening to question
Delegates talking to each other
Delegates greeting each other
Speaker presenting at the event
Speaker addresses the audience

The workshop covered:

  • An overview of what micro enterprise is (a micro enterprise is small, simple and fast to start up and can be run by anyone)
  • What the difference is between a micro enterprise and other types of businesses
  • The benefits of starting a micro enterprise
  • Planning your ideas
  • First steps
Facilitator: Helen Roberts

Entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience,  MD of CPG Executive Consulting Ltd and Founder & MD of Start-up Richmond.