How can we unlock local people's potential to tackle local problems? Lessons from Bradford

Stephen Miller

Many community-level social entrepreneurs – as demonstrated through this pilot – can contribute to the objectives of local authorities more broadly.

How can social entrepreneurs tackle local problems?

Many community-level social entrepreneurs – as demonstrated through this pilot – can contribute to the objectives of local authorities more broadly.

The Bradford Social Future Awards innovative pilot scheme was a partnership between JRF, UnLtd and Bradford Metropolitan District Council from May 2011 to June 2012. It showed the untapped potential of local people to find local solutions to local problems, and a readiness to take risks through backing social entrepreneurs with flexible finance and support.

  • Taking risks on social entrepreneurs and backing them with flexible finance and support is one way of stimulating civil activity and local leadership.
  • Social entrepreneurs in the Bradford Social Future Awards scheme valued flexible finance, contact with local authority officers and public service commissioners, and opportunities to network with other social entrepreneurs and providers.
  • The benefits for local councils and commissioners can include a broader awareness of effective practices and local solutions, meeting local needs, and leveraging resources and support from across the council and other agencies.
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