About us

Social Enterprise Works has been providing guidance and practical business development assistance to prospective, newly-formed and established social enterprises since 1993.

In our early years, we were known as Bristol Area Community Enterprise Network (BACEN). However in November 2006 we changed this to our current, more self-explanatory name.

Over the last 20 years we’ve harnessed the potential of individuals and community groups all over Bristol. Together we’ve been able to create, develop and sustain successful social enterprises that improve the lives and environment of communities across the city.

Our ethos

As a social enterprise ourselves, we draw on our own values of empowerment, sustainability, accountability and equality to help us deliver the best possible service for our clients.

Each one of our services aims to empower clients and promote sustainability on a day-to-day basis.

To ensure we can offer the high level of service you deserve, we have an expert team of advisers who are assessed and accredited against the SFEDI standards for social enterprise advisors. This means you can be sure you’re always in the best hands.

Delivering services in partnership

Meeting your needs is our number one priority. As such, our team also work with a range of partners to deliver a service that’s second to none. Partners include Bristol City Council, Unltd, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Voscur, University of Bristol and UWE. We also receive excellent pro bono services from solicitors Burges Salmon.

Our thanks go to all our supporters and funders.

What is a social enterprise? 
Put simply, a social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives. Rather than being driven to maximise profit for shareholders, a social enterprise meets its social objectives by reinvesting its surpluses in the business or in the community.

At Social Enterprise Works we support the development of not-for-private profit trading activities owned by identifiable communities. These can be geographical communities or communities of interest.