Rise forced to close by loss of funding

Umbrella body for social enterprises in south-west England, which launched the social enterprise mark, is hit by the forthcoming closure of the South West Regional Development Agency

The social enterprise mark
The social enterprise mark

Rise, the umbrella body that supports social enterprises in the south west of England, is to close because of a loss of funding.

Rise is the sole shareholder in the Social Enterprise Mark Company and was responsible for running the pilot of the mark, as well as launching it with the national umbrella body Social Enterprise UK.

The Social Enterprise Mark Company will continue as a separate business and will still award the mark. It is not yet clear what will happen to Rise’s other assets.

Rise has four full-time employees and one part-time member of staff. It had a turnover of £775,196 in 2010/11.

Rise has been forced to close because it has been unable to attract funding. The majority of its financial support came from the South West Regional Development Agency, but this will close next year.

Andrew North, chair of the board of directors, said: "It is with great sadness that the Rise board of directors has been tasked with the closure of Rise, but with the demise of the South West RDA and a lack of government support for social enterprises, there is no other alternative.

"We hope that the network of south-west social enterprises, which Rise has been instrumental in growing, will continue to thrive."

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