Funded by


RISE (Resilience & Innovation for Social Enterprise)


June 2022

About this workshop

Part of the Creative Fuse North East project (funded through the European Regional Development Fund and Arts & Humanities Research Council), RISE is a free-of-charge programme of sociable, creative and confidence-inspiring workshops designed to support you and your organisation. You’ll learn creative ways of effectively collaborating with others online. Using human-centred problem-solving/opportunity-identifying approaches we’ll help you identify what changes could support your social enterprise in being more resilient and sustainable.

Shared insights from RISE will also inform on-going work to develop Newcastle as a positive and supportive social enterprise city – feeding into the bid to Social Enterprise UK for Newcastle to become a registered ‘hot spot’ for social enterprise ( Led by Junction Point, Connected Voice and Project North East, this bid will set out an action plan to improve the support available to the social enterprise sector across Newcastle.

During the programme you will have the opportunity to spend valuable time working on your social enterprise rather than working in or for it. Within a supportive peer group you’ll have space creatively to evaluate complex business challenges and opportunities. At the end of the programme you’ll leave with a better understanding of how your ambitions and ideas might be brought to life to benefit you and your organisation.

Dr Ollie Hemstock

Senior Research Fellow, Creative Fuse

Helen Simmons

Senior Research Assistant, Creative Fuse

Why take part?

For you:

  • Understand how important your personal motivations and values are in your work
  • Build relationships with others working in social enterprises in a supportive network
  • Develop skills and learn creative ways to collaborate online
  • Grow confidence in articulating your social enterprise story for different audiences
  • Learn how to use workshop approaches build ideas and innovate
  • Share your experiences to help others running social enterprises

For your organisation:

  • Test and validate ideas and concepts within a supportively critical peer group
  • Find common ground and opportunities for innovation and partnership with other organisations
  • Identify how the needs of your organisation could be met by another, and share what you can offer
  • Make connections with academia with the potential to support you on future projects
  • Build resilience into your organisation through a better understanding of its position in a shared future vision of social enterprise in Newcastle

For our city:

  • Help to shape the social enterprise ecosystem of the future for Newcastle.
    The outcomes from these workshops will feed into the bid to Social Enterprise UK for Newcastle to become a registered ‘hot spot’ for Social Enterprise. Led by Junction Point, Connected Voice and Project North East, this bid will set out an action plan to improve the support available to the Social Enterprise sector across Newcastle. Read more about this initiative at

What happens in each session?

This one hour session allows us to get to know each other. We explore by asking questions and carefully listening to gain a good understanding of your professional journey, your talents and expertise, your motivations and ambitions. We can also spend time introducing you to the digital tools which will be used through the programme so that you feel confident using them.

In our first workshop we’ll get to know each other, share the stories behind our social enterprises and our individual journeys. We’ll build confidence using online tools and begin to explore some of the themes which relate to social enterprises in Newcastle using design-thinking activities.

Building on session one, we’ll explore some of the opportunities and challenges that impact social enterprises in the Newcastle. We’ll use creative tools to make sense of complex issues and draw out patterns and themes. Together we’ll build an understanding of Newcastle as a social enterprise city and explore what it will feel like to operate as a social enterprise within it. We will probe creative ways that assets and resources could contribute towards this vision.

In our third workshop we’ll bring focus to your organisation and understand its innovation readiness. We will explore how your enterprise might change and evolve in line with our shared vision of Newcastle as a social enterprise city and we’ll start to identify different pathways which could be explored. We will investigate opportunities for collaboration and support between organisations

This one-to-one session will allow us to work more closely with you to develop the key points of interest for your organisation from the previous session. We’ll creatively explore different eventualities and help you understand how you might to take advantage of the opportunities available. We will work from our shared vision of success to an outline of actionable goals and pathways for your enterprise. This session also allows us to reflect on the previous sessions, evaluate the outcomes of the programme, and generate valuable feedback.

Who is this for?

Our support is available free-of-charge to eligible social enterprises in Newcastle including: sole traders, partnerships and freelancers, micro, small and medium sized enterprises.  If you’d like to learn how to use design thinking to harness creativity and start innovating within your social enterprise –  this programme is for you.

Am I eligible?

If you can answer yes to the questions below, you may be eligible to take part in this programme:

  • Is your social enterprise registered and based in Newcastle?
  • Do you have fewer than 250 employees?
  • Is your annual turnover less than €50 million, and/or your annual balance sheet is less than €43 million?
  • Do you want to work with experts from Northumbria School of Design to creatively explore how you use new techniques and approaches to make your social enterprise more resilient and sustainable?

If your answer to any of the above is “not sure”, then please get in touch and we will help you to confirm whether your social enterprise is eligible for RISE, or another of our innovation programmes.

When will this be delivered?

The programme will run in June 2022. The sessions will run on Friday mornings from 9.30-12.30 on 17 June, 24 June and 8 July followed by a one-to-one bespoke session tailored to each individual organisation. Places are limited and will be available on a first-come first-served basis subject to eligibility.

How do i sign up/ find out more?

For an informal chat about the programme or to sign up, email