Participating Project

Project information

Step Ahead in Social Enterprise and Employment

Step Ahead in Social Enterprise and Employment will offer business and mentoring to Black and Minority led Social enterprises that have begun trading to prepare them for growth, and a complimentary job coaching package for people new to our service who choose employment option over enterprise

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Olmec

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  • Need


    We address economic disadvantage faced by BME communities. The 2017 McGregor-Smith review suggested the economy could receive a £24bn annual boost if businesses stamped out ethnic inequality. It found that BME people were still often disadvantaged at work and that employment rates amongst the BME population was 12% lower than for white counterparts. They were more likely to work in lower paid and lower skilled jobs despite being more likely to have a degree, and just 6% reached management


    We will use this funding to provide a social enterprise route to business start-up and employment for individuals from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds . The programme will include business planning sessions in a classroom-like setting, business skills training, one to one support, group work tailored to prepare early stage enterprises for group. The job coaching option offers bespoke employment training designed to preparation for the labour market leading to living wage jobs.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We will use this funding to provide a social enterprise route to business start-up and employment


    » 75 beneficiaries attend taster workshops 50 Applicants to the programme 10 social entrepreneurs recruited 20 people recruited to the employment

    Our monitoring and reports will demonstrate to you each element of delivery of the programme overall in an evaluation report that success measures programme overall

    Aim 2

    10% increase in turnover and 12 Jobs created through social enterprises


    » 7 weeks classroom based peer learning curriculum covering business planning, business model, establish markets and investment strategies
    » 8 days follow up one to one support to 10 enterprises (80 days support) over a 6 month month period

    Each beneficiary receives a business diagnostic during the assessment phase, covering all aspects of development including turnover and staffing allowing us to demonstrate impact

    Aim 3

    15 Jobs created through employment support and job


    » One to one job coaching tailored to individual need including CV, supporting statement, job search, application and mock interview techniques

    A personal assessment during registration identifies key current employment status situation, assesses training needs and barriers, We are able to demonstrate

  • Impact


    Our longer term aim is to enable people to become economically active and financially independent through sustainable social enterprise and jobs which deliver a living wage and social benefit. We work with housing associations to monitor the success of our programme over the long term , Beneficiaries will be invited to join our social enterprise network
    Success will be demonstrated through evidenced based reporting on our targets of 600% social return on investment an 27 jobs created overall


    There is a risk that our total budget figure is not reached preventing access to Champion Funding and comprising project quality However we have learned from our experience in 2016 by working hard to target potential donors and setting a realistic target figure
    Our experience has shaped the programme delivery to mitigate social enterprise programme drop out through targeted recruitment, reserve lists and ensuring an employment element for those whose business may not work


    We provide monthly monitoring and reports to demonstrate to you each element of delivery of the project. At the end of the project, client evaluation will demonstrate whether clients feel they have benefited from the programme and have achieved personal outcomes which would not have been possible

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,500 Step ahead trainer cost Workshops and 121 support
      £7,000 Step ahead trainine Job club workshop
      £1,000 Launch event taster workshops
      £1,500 Project on cost management and adminstration
  • Background


    OLMEC is based in London providing culturally focused services to black and minority ethnic and refugee people in social housing in 14 boroughs. London is the most ethnically diverse city in the UK with 34% of resident population made up of migrants (30% in outer London and 40% in inner London In Westminster, Newham and Brent, over 50% of the population is born outside the UK. We work with people who experience significant barriers including poor access to capital, and appropriate services


    The programme is designed for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) social entrepreneurs in social housing who face the challenge of stabilising or growing their business. And people who are underemployed or unemployed.
    We have identified need from programmes developed with partners Metropolitan and Arhag (African Housing Refugee Action Group), Our beneficiaries include West Africans, African Caribbean’s, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Somalis, Latin American and EU accession state migrants

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since 2008 Olmec has supported over 300 social entrepreneurs and established our Step Ahead network of BME social entrepreneurs/ An external evaluation by Greenmarque demonstrated that a sample of 18 social enterprises supported through our Ready to Grow programme resulted in the creation of 40 jobs and contributed over £600,000 to the economy. An evaluation in 2014 of start up programmes showed 70% test trade record. Our Rise employment programme won a Housing Excellence Award in 2017

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Mayford, Olmec CEO

    John has been CEO y Olmec since 2010 overseen Olmec’s social enterprise portfolio and award winning Rise Into Employment programme

    Olmec Principle Social Enterprise And Community Leadership Consultant

    Sam has over 25 years in the field including Business Support, Capacity Building, Research/Feasibility Studies, Management Audits, Strategic

    Kumba Jobe Olmec Employment Co-Ordinator

    Kumba has 5 years employment support sector experience and will co-ordinate delivery of the workshops in a job club setting

    Robert Bowley

    Rob is the Neighbourhood Investment Lead for Metropolitan Housing and our key contact for working with their social housing residents across London