The Journey to Trading: Enterprise for Charities & Community Organisations

10th June 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
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How to make your Oxforshire charity or community organisation more enterprising, including through trading.

About this Event

“The Journey to Trading: Enterprise for Charities and Community Organisations” webinar is aimed at decision makers in Oxfordshire charities and community organisations that would like to find out more about how their organisations might become more enterprising, including through trading. The webinar would also explore how this trading is situated within a wider income generation and diversification strategy.

The webinar will include:

– An outline of the developing ‘inclusive economy’ landscape and growth of social enterprise nationally and in Oxfordshire. This sets the scene of encouraging a shift for charities and community organisations to become more enterprising.

– Explaining the role of OSEP CIC and the eScalate programme in Oxfordshire to promote and help develop social enterprise

– Share learning of the practical experience and journey of trading as a charity, at Aspire, with our wholly-owned trading company model delivering grounds care, property maintenance and more recently recruitment and consultancy

– Share examples of how Aspire has ‘incubated’ fledgling social enterprise start-ups which have gone on to independence and success

– Provide a run through of different examples of how charities and community enterprises can trade, with local examples of these different approaches in action

– Outline the different statutory aspects charities and community organisations need to consider when exploring trading (tax, legal, governance) and where to seek advice and guidance from

– Explain the support on offer for the next stage of your social enterprise journey, including a dedicated peer support group and how to take advantage of the eScalate programme managed by OxLEP Business and OSEP.


Paul Roberts is the lead facilitator, supported by Sophie Kilmister. Both are from Aspire Oxfordshire.

Paul brings a wealth of experiences of different charity and community enterprise models in Oxfordshire. He is a Director of Aspire’s trading company as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the Aspire charity. Paul joined Aspire in 2012 and has been at the forefront of significant organisational growth including through trading. Aspire’s turnover has grown by 480% in this time frame.

Paul has helped set up numerous, enterprising community organisations in the county. He is a co-founder of the Oxford Homeless Movement, was a founder Director of Greater Change CIC (Community Interest Company), and is a Director of Makespace Oxford CIC, of the Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership (OSEP CIC), and is a Founder Trustee of ‘Flo’s the Place in the Park’ (a charitable Community Benefit Society).

Prior to joining Aspire, Paul was a British Diplomat for six years. Paul previously volunteered at Asylum Welcome in Oxford and as a Generalist Adviser for the Citizens Advice. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy.

Currently Enterprise Development Programme Manager at Aspire, Sophie also works as the Operations Director of an Engineering business. A key feature of Sophie’s career has been working across sectors – commercial, public and charitable sector. Prior to joining Aspire Sophie spent 9 years in secondary education as both teacher and senior leader – teaching Business Studies and Economics. As Assistant Head involved in strategic development and implementation within a large secondary school.

Previous to this, Sophie trained as and worked as a solicitor firstly in the banking sector and then for the charity sector. She also spent three years establishing and running a £30m endowed grant making charitable foundation for an entrepreneur.

For more information about the eScalate programme , visit

Please note that this webinar is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is delivered as part of the eScalate programme to help SMEs. By engaging in this programme you are being offered assistance under the De Minimis regulation which allows a company to receive up to but not exceeding €200,000 of public funding (at the applicable exchange rate) of De Minimis aid over a rolling three-tax year fiscal period. This de minimis declaration does not cover undertakings engaged in: the primary production of agricultural goods and fisheries/aquaculture, road freight, services of general economic interest and export related activities and activities favouring domestic over imported goods. Please note, support cannot be given to undertakings (businesses) in difficulty. In order to receive support from this programme, you will be required to complete an application form and other relevant documentation.


10th June 2020
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:
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