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Fashion manufacturing on the up: social enterprise wins cash and skills injection from SBT
- Former Arcadia buyer’s brainchild gets Social Business Trust boost -
Through a series of targeted initiatives, Fashion Enter supports young people who want to enter the fashion industry. These include a ‘Tick approved’ apprenticeship scheme whereby Fashion Enter places people new to the world of fashion with major brands – so far, apprentices have been placed with Marks & Spencer, River Island, New Look, House of Fraser and many up and coming smaller fashion companies. The business also manufactures elements of Marks & Spencer’s Best of British (http://www.marksandspencer.com/
Noticing a skills gap in the UK, the founder also set up a stitching academy in collaboration with ASOS to develop home grown talent in the field, equipping people with in-demand skills, and helping them move forward. Discussions are also underway to expand the training offering with support of the local council.
Social Business Trust is key to the growth of Fashion Enter, and as this development progresses, SBT will help the social enterprise to increase its social impact. Teams from two of SBT’s partners, EY (http://www.ey.com/
Fashion Enter is the brainchild of Jenny Holloway (http://www.fashion-
Adele Blakebrough, CEO of SBT, said “the Fashion Enter story is a fantastic one to be a part of. Jenny is an inspiration, showing it is possible to not only provide compliant and competitive manufacturing services to the industry, but also to develop people’s skills, and help to revive a lost art in UK industry. We are enjoying working with Jenny to ensure Fashion Enter becomes an established and sustainable provider of manufacturing, employment and training in its sector.”
Founder and CEO Jenny Holloway said that “the support of Social Business Trust is proving invaluable at this crucial period in our growth. With the recent approval from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) for our apprenticeships, and the increasing demand on our manufacturing services, it is vital that we develop the skills and capabilities to grow. SBT is such a good partner to have on our side.”
Fashion Enter is based in Haringey, and Jenny Holloway is working closely with the local council to extend the provision of training and opportunities. Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Employment, said: “We’re delighted to hear that SBT is supporting Fashion Enter to improve and develop its training and apprenticeships. We’re working with Fashion Enter to explore how the popular Stitching Academy can be extended so that we can provide more exciting training and job opportunities for Haringey residents and support the growth of the fashion manufacturing industry in the borough. Haringey is home to many talented young people and we’re committed to helping give them the chance to develop those talents and fulfil their ambitions.”
For further information:
Notes to editors below.
About Social Business Trust:
Social Business Trust was formed in December 2010. Since then it has invested in ten social enterprises. The aims of the Trust include positively affecting the lives of one million people in the UK.
Adele Blakebrough, chief executive, outlined the Trust’s mission on inception as: “We at the Trust will look at a social enterprise and assess the obstacles to growth it faces and establish the best possible support from our partners. We will then manage the investment and relationship between the social enterprise we are supporting and our partner organisations.
We believe that there has never been a more important time for social enterprises to exist and to thrive. But they will only do so if they have a robust business model and a desire to grow. By working with us, we can help them achieve their ambitions and, thereby, help many more of the UK’s most disadvantaged people.”
The Social Business Trust investment portfolio comprises:
Inspiring Futures (http://www.inspiringfutures.org.uk/)
London Early Years Foundation (http://www.leyf.org.uk/)
The Challenge Network (http://www.the-
The Reader Organisation (http://www.thereader.org.uk/)
Shakespeare Schools Festival (http://www.ssf.uk.com/)
Young Advisors (http://www.youngadvisors.org.uk/)
Fashion Enter (http://www.fashion-
About Fashion Enter:
Fashion Enter is a social enterprise that strives to be a centre of excellence for sampling, grading, production and for learning and development of skills within the fashion and textiles industry. Fashion Enter has a Factory for large scale production and a Fashion Studio for grading, sampling and small productions runs. Both units are Sedex approved and produce for leading retailers, etailers, designers and new business start-ups. The business offers many services, such as Business Mentoring and Workshops, the Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeship programme, a Stitching Academy for a Level 1 award in Fashion and Textiles helping the unemployed to gain much needed stitching skills, and many more (http://www.fashion-
What is a social enterprise?
In the UK the accepted Government-backed definition of social enterprise used by the UK social enterprise sector bodies comes from the 2002 Department of Trade and Industry report 'Social Enterprise: a strategy for success' as:
‘A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose.’
A suitable and more thorough exploration of social enterprise is listed on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/