The key objectives of the Confederation – which is itself a social business – are to:

  • Strengthen third-sector organisations and boost their capacity to deliver income-generating goods and services.
  • Help these organisations identify possible growth areas and provide support to help them take advantage of these new opportunities.

Services offered by the CoSE include:

  • Acting as a ‘bridge’ between the public sector and social enterprises.
  • Organising networking opportunities and meet-the-buyer events.
  • Opening doors to the public sector for social enterprises, raising awareness of thesocial and environmental advantages that contracting with the third sector can bring.
  • Helping public sector organisations to ensure that their tendering and procurement processes are third sector ‘friendly’.
  • A dedicated tender alert service for the third sector.
  • Support for social enterprises to help them tender successfully for these contracts.
  • Helping social enterprises to recruit board members from the private sector.

In order to ensure to ensure that social enterprises can take advantage of its ‘mainstream’ services the Confederation also offers a range of training and development opportunities including:

  • Sector-specific training to help social enterprises develop the skills base needed to win more public sector contracts.
  • A mentoring programme to help third sector staff acquire the skills and experience needed to tender for contracts and subsequently deliver them.
  • The publication of ‘toolkits’ focusing on key aspects of dealing with the public sector.
  • Creating a forum for the exchange of best practice.
  • Supporting the development of consortia to tender for contracts.
  • Developing model arrangements that can be franchised across the sector.