Working with Hilary as the licensed Community Share Practitioner on the Stoke Croft Land Trust Share Offer was a brilliant experience, without her overall efforts and work to ensure SCLT was investment ready and could secure the community share offer mark the project would not have been as successful as it was. Hilary secured significant funding of £75,000 from the Co-OP community booster fund as well as helping to keep everything on track and moving forward. Hilary also helped us to get the process right on the Fundsurfer platform side before launch as it was our first ever Community Share Offer and her help and advice was immensely helpful. We look forward to working together again soon!
CAN have been amazing during the whole of this process. Hilary was there to answer all of my 'stupid questions' with patience, knowledge and humour for which I am so grateful. CAN also went above and beyond working through a Bank Holiday weekend to make a print deadline, which was incredible.
you are so brilliant! thank you CAN for providing these wonderful tools :-)
"The support we had at Tiny House Community Bristol from Hilary Sudbury at the Co-operative Assistance Network was absolutely crucial and instrumental to us winning 'Preferred Bidder' status for a council site in the Ward of Sea Mills, Bristol. Hilary guided us through a process of transition from a Company Ltd. by Guarantee to a Community Benefit Society and also helped us to work out how we could overlay the decentralised governance system of Sociocracy within the CBS legal entity. Hilary also gave us extensive help with putting together a Business Plan to support our bid for the site in Sea Mills and sub-contracted Tom Beale via Ecomotive for the Financial Planning elements. The way in which Hilary and Tom worked together to help us with our bid was really great and very professional. Winning the bid is testament to this. Thank you so much Hilary! We really couldn't have achieved this fantastic result without you!"
"Thank you... it's a brilliant piece of work."
"The training will help me to set up social enterprise in the future and also allow me to advise others on social enterprise business."
"The information given was exactly what is needed to start up a social enterprise. This was a pleasure and a blessing so thank you to all involved."
"That was a really great session you delivered – despite the many challenges! Thank you for being so patient and steering us through to something with a concrete direction."
"The tool we were given for financial planning is and will be of great use to us. The focus the project gave us in terms of getting on with policies and procedures also really useful. It was really great to work with Austen and Chris – and we will definitely be commissioning their help in the future."
"Thank you for the sessions you put on for us. As a package, they were so helpful, and Chris, you have been awarded the title by colleagues as the man who can make the world of finance interesting and not just necessary. That is quite something."
"Interesting and informative - a well run and well presented course that provided specialist information that met both general and individual needs. Highly recommended for anyone looking at starting a social enterprise."
"We wouldn't be where we stand today without CAN's help. They saved us a chunk of money, and allowed us to go forward without much of the stress of the traditional business start up. They are user-friendly, supportive, effective and knowledgeable. I especially valued the internet contact and support."
"We have found the programme very useful in formulating our plans for future development, in particular the creation of a community interest company."
"Very helpful in giving clarity to the most appropriate structure for the development of new premises for the provision of healthcare. Helpful contacts list and ethos development."
"In an area of my life, where I have been taking small and tentative steps, I've just been given the chance to take a huge world record leap. My dream to become a documentary maker for social causes has been ignited, inspired and invigorated."
"The training and support from CAN has been of great use and help in assisting with the development of our project."
"We have a huge amount of work to do to progress our co-operative over the next few months and as we start to look at a six month review of operating, we want CAN to be involved in that review. As we head towards our first year end, it will be crucial to have the support of CAN in preparing that year end and delivering a review that will help to re-establish the public image of the good that the co-operative movement can do for our economy."
"Thanks CAN we couldn’t have done it without you!"
"Gave clear, usable answers to all the questions we had, that had been bugging us for ages."
"I have found the training very useful and enjoyable. Having previously worked in commercial environments it's great to see potential social enterprises and other voluntary and community sector organisations receiving this very important training. What's very special is that whilst developing good business skills to help us survive, CAN ensure their message is delivered in such a way that encourages this sector to continue to operate in partnership and full collaboration with each other without competing against each other, in order to strengthen the entire sector and make it sustainable."
"I enjoy getting information on how to carry out pricing and valuing the time I spend on each task. Information about credible referral gave me trust to smoothly confirm developing our work."
"The Co-operative Assistance Network (CAN) provided invaluable advice and support. As founder members we all had experience of public and private limited companies but the co-operative was a very different beast. Our business model and plan was reviewed and challenged. We realised that unlike setting up a limited company or even a charity, setting up a co-operative required validation and approval of what we were doing. Achieving that validation and approval by using CAN means something to all of us. We had 4 free CAN days and then there is a very reasonable rate payable for additional hours."
"Our CAN advisor guided us through all the legal set-up paperwork, ensuring that we understood what we were signing up to at every stage. We attended a CAN facilitated Social Accounting workshop which provided practical and constructive approaches to this very interesting area."
"This consultancy time has helped me develop a much clearer picture of what we need to be doing over the next year to establish our work and our client-base. I feel really encouraged and excited about our prospects, and energised to get on with it."
"Support from CAN has been a life-line, and has helped keep my ideas moving forward to a point where we can trade as a business. The ongoing support after receiving training has really made a difference."
"Very helpful. Put clarity on even the most basic things I hadn't thought of. Feel supported."
"Invaluable one to one sessions full of knowledge and past cases. A great source for business set up to progression routes. A positive can do attitude."
"Made to think for oneself. Discussions well thought out, so we had to work, not sit and listen. Recommend your service to all."
"The course was delivered in a very user-friendly way, and the trainer took care to answer every question in detail. His answers and observations were well considered and encouraged creative thinking. I think all attendees gained a lot of confidence to pursue their aims."
"This has been an invaluable training service. It has given me far more confidence to move ahead, and raised numerous issues I would not have thought of. It has enabled me to think 'What do I need to do?' Instead of ' What can I / can't I do?' and made it more approachable."
"I found the Social Enterprise Start Up Training Programme service very valuable for developing my fledgling ideas into something with weight, potential and possibilities. I found the CAN team to be very well informed, exceedingly knowledgeable and very helpful."
"I have really enjoyed the training. I now feel empowered to take the first steps towards setting up a small business. Thanks to everyone!"
"We found the course to be exactly what we needed to assess and develop our business. All the training was very clearly and professionally delivered."
"Most effective training ever attended. Training delivery was excellent as trainer really delivered what the group wanted."
"I found that the assistance our organisation received from CAN was important for two main reasons. Firstly, we were able to identify areas in our project that would determine our success; and secondly, we were given guidance in the methods of running our enterprise, including business planning; and most importantly not losing the factors that make our organization improve."
"Has helped enormously to form a social enterprise. The structure of the enterprise; the social aims of the enterprise; how to get funding. And help finding the way forward."
"The training and guidance for CAN has increased my knowledge and confidence immensely for setting up a social enterprise. Without it I would not have been aware of the many implications, despite having read reams of information from other sources. Meeting others who share common aims, and having advisers who have been so helpful have been the greatest contribution to an ambitious idea becoming a viable venture."
"This has been a very positive and informative training course. The individual day courses were very pertinent, and balanced between business and ethos. The one-to-one session focus on specifics was excellent. Business consultant / adviser invaluable. Thank you so much."
"Very good - took me from little knowledge base to an understanding to be able to start working in the social enterprise area. I would recommend the programme to anyone who wants to go into social enterprise."
"We will be offering a very different type of ‘profit share’ as members will accrue points towards different types of training and personal development courses, coaching and programmes. CAN provided us with an expert in this area to help us set this up correctly so that there is no tax implication for individual members."