We support people to grow; develop their skills, personally and professionally, making a profound impact in their local communities

Five years ago Cornwall was recognised as the first Rural Social Enterprise Zone in the UK, building on the entrepreneurial farming, food and tin mining culture that has existed here for hundreds of years.  Today the proportion of self-employment in Cornwall is 50% higher than the UK average and is thriving across the county, with the iconic Eden Project and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall as beacons of success.

SSE Cornwall

Established ten years ago, the School for Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall (SSE Cornwall) supports Social Entrepreneurs to realise their ambitions and create social change.  As part of a network of global schools SSE Cornwall delivers programmes to support and equip people to start, scale and strengthen their organisations, making a significant positive difference to their local communities on issues they experience and are passionate about.  Two-Thirds of social enterprises are supporting people from disadvantaged groups and 44% are employing them *

How we support social entrepreneurs

Over the years SSE Cornwall has developed into a highly credible organisation with integrity at its heart.  With the support of a very experienced Board of Directors the company has evolved into the go to place for Social Enterprise support in Cornwall.

We design, develop and deliver programmes of support from pre-start to leadership .  Local support from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and Cornwall Council has been integral to its success.

Programmes for 2020 – all delivery is now online

In these unprecedented times we are here for you more than ever.  We have moved all of our delivery and awareness sessions online and are arranging regular zoom catch up’s with fellows, as well as delivering a regular newsletter with funding opportunities – so please do stay connected with us.

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twitter @SSECornwall

instagram @sse_cornwall

And you can email us at or call 01872 306130

Community Business Trade Up Programme

Recruitment is completed and applications for 2020 programmes are now closed.

Lloyds Bank  Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme 

Applications open on 13th March 2020 for our Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme. If you are committed to helping people in need or improving the environment and  you’re in the early stages of setting up a social enterprise, charity or impact project to make it happen  this is the programme for you.

We could support you with:

  • A free learning programme (14 learning days, spread over a year)
  • A grant of £1,000 (money you don’t pay back)
  • A support network
  • Mentoring

for more information click here

And sign up for one of our awareness sessions to find out more:

9th April 12.30 -2pm Online click here to register 

15th April 5pm – 6pm online click here to register

17th April 12pm – 1pm online click here to register

21st April 9am- 10am online click here to register

Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE)

Accelerating Women’s Enterprise is a new collaborative project to help women living in various regions either side of the English Channel to increase their personal skills and develop their business ideas and knowledge.  Across Cornwall we will support women through new training workshops, face to face advice, and mentoring, all developed specifically for women.  This programme is funded by INTERREG and European Union.

2020 Programme dates:


from 23rd April for 12 weeks.

 Additional programme dates tbc 

9th September, 16th September, 23rd September, 30th September, 7th October and 14th October


4th November, 11th November, 18th November, 25th November, 2nd December and 9th December

To sign up or find out more email or call 01872 306130  Click here for the AWE SSE Application Form

Springboard – Growing Business Ideas

Over the next two years we are working across Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Illogan and St Day offering 12 hours minimum of free support in an encouraging and safe setting to explore business ideas.  This programme is funded by CLLD and EU Structural and Investment Funds.

No previous experience or qualifications are needed.  So if you have an idea or cause you are passionate about and want to explore how you can bring the idea to life and make a difference or you already run a new business or social enterprise (less than 12 months old) and want to it to grow and develop, then this the programme for you.

To sign up or find out more email or call 01872 306130

Impact evaluation on our Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme (2012-17)

The people we support tackle society’s biggest problems while creating meaningful jobs.

We’ve just published the results of our biggest ever impact evaluation. Our Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme (2012-2017) shows our Social Entrepreneurs have an incredible multiplier effect from the support they receive.  Please click here for our evaluation results – SSE Cornwall Evaluation 

Supporting 88 social entrepreneurs creates 700 volunteer roles, 200 jobs, and impacts 2,700 beneficiaries.

SSE Cornwall wins Ambassador of the year award

The Cornwall Business Awards celebrates innovation, achievement and entrepreneurial spirit within the business community of Cornwall. The awards night was held on 27th June and saw the School for Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall take home a trophy for Ambassador of the Year.

“We are so delighted to win Cornwall Business Awards Ambassador of the year,” says Sally Heard, CEO of SSE Cornwall.

“This is our chance to showcase our work on behalf of our incredible board of directors, SSE fellows, investors, supporters and talent pool of facilitators who have helped make us the trusted, valued and influential social enterprise we are today. Winning is all about them! Acknowledging the incredible work they do to provide products and services through their organisations and businesses in Cornwall and beyond.”


Local news

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Fellows’ stories

Tree Stewart, founder of Sky High Arts

Tree Stewart, Sky High Arts

The startup using trapeze to change lives in Cornwall

More about Tree
Sarah Cowburn, founder of Bodeeworx, is timing another woman in plank position

Sarah Cowburn, Bodeeworx

Making fitness affordable and accessible to rural communities in Cornwall

More about Sarah
Lizzie Heath, founder of Little Kitchen Magicians. Credit: Exposure Photo Agency

Lizzie Heath, Little Kitchen Magicians

Educating thousands about the importance of healthy food and nutrition.

More about Lizzie
Jamie Tresidder, founder of SPARC

Jamie Tresidder, SPARC

Providing access to sport & physical activity to people facing barriers.

More about Jamie
School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellows

Mat Price, Proud2Be

"The support that I was able to receive and offer to people who were experiencing similar challenges, fears and had the same driving passion was a lifeline."

More about Mat
The School for Social Entrepreneurs fellow, Caro, collecting seaweed in Cornwall for her social enterprise Cornish Seaweed Company

Caro Warwick- Evans, Cornish Seaweed Company

"SSE not only gave us the business support and training that we needed but they were a solid, friendly and highly experienced support network."

More about Caro
David Forsyth making surfboards at his workshop in Cornwall

David Forsyth, Driftwood Surfboards

"The School for Social Entrepreneurs has taught me the importance of social responsibility in business."

More about David
+ Read more stories