Stockport Council, Stockport Homes, Equity Housing, Good Business Brokerage and Give2Gain launched Stockport’s first ‘Sector Connector’ event, linking the business community with local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs).
Representatives from Music Magpie, CDL and Hallidays joined many other businesses and businesses taking part joined 47 organisations from the voluntary, community and charitable sectors.
The event provided opportunities for cross-sector networking, and featured presentations and workshops to help attendees discover how partnerships between private businesses and the VCSE sector could greatly benefit them both, by helping to find creative new solutions to the challenges they face.
Simone Callaghan from the Good Business Brokerage explained:
“There are many local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) working tirelessly to improve lives and tackle disadvantage.
“Greater collaboration is necessary between the Stockport business community and the VCSEs to ensure they have the appropriate skills to continue to carry out the good work and services they provide. Looking at the diversity of great work going on across Stockport, it is apparent that all organisations share common goals and interests.
“If you run a business operating in Stockport, you too could get involved and help make a difference.”
The organisers are looking for more businesses to join them who are:
- open to connecting with local organisations;
- exploring local needs;
- wanting to hear about the benefits of creating meaningful partnerships and whether it’s money, time or skills, feel they have something they could offer a VCSE organisation in Stockport.
The Vernon Building Society, who are renowned for their work in supporting the local community, attended the Sector Connector event that they described as a worthwhile experience, with learning they could take back to their organisation to improve their connections further.
Alex Deaken, Marketing Manager at the Vernon Building Society said:
“The event was an absolute success and the presentation has definitely given a new perspective when looking at the partnership idea and how a business can help a community group through a very individual relationship.
“I met a lot of people and had discussions with some really interesting people.”
82% of those who completed the event evaluation reported that they felt it had been very helpful, with 84% reporting they had made a new connection and 40% suggesting they had made a match they would re-connect with outside of the event.
“Our first event appears to have been an overwhelming success both for the businesses who attended and the VCSE organisations present. Stockport Council took a bold move in committing to this approach alongside local partners – reaffirming and advertising its commitment to collaborating with other sectors, whose involvement and contribution was both invaluable and critical to the success on the day.
“The event promoted mutual recognition of this, and identified that greater collaboration is necessary to give local stakeholders the best chance of success. By better supporting one another, we are all more likely to succeed and gain access to the necessary support, advice and connections that can assist us in our work. With close to 60 attendees on the day and with such positive responses we are very keen to do more events like this.”
Angela from Cheadle Hulme’s ‘At The Kitchen’ added:
“Brilliant event and just so interesting for me to chat to people from other sectors. Made some great connections… will keep you posted. Thanks so much for inviting me along really enjoyed it such a positive vibe in the room.”
If you feel your business could benefit from getting involved then contact Simone by email at Good Business Brokerage or if you are a voluntary, community or social enterprise please visit the website.