Please note: The date of this event has recently changed from 12 March to 11 April 2013.

Rural communities today face a distinct set of challenges. Difficulty accessing services, transport and job opportunities, social isolation or exclusion and hidden deprivation are just some of the issues they have to confront. In the face of the closure of the Commission for Rural Communities, this is potentially a key time for rural social enterprises to step up and use their expertise to help address these problems in a financially sustainable way.

However, rural social enterprise has its own challenges. It’s more difficult to access target populations than in dense urban areas, and there tend to be less opportunities for organisations to meet up to share ideas. Housing associations, however, are in a unique position to encourage social enterprise in rural areas. They have access to local communities, a diverse set of business skills, and the ability to offer investment support.

In this seminar, Paul Smith, Head of Enterprise & Intelligence, and Charlotte Weedon, Social Enterprise Development Manager of Aster Group will be asking if housing associations are doing all they could to support rural social enterprise, and what the benefits might be if they do. They’ll be sharing their unique insights into the challenges and opportunities of serving rural communities, as well as looking at why it’s important that social enterprise grows from the community rather than approaching matters from the top down.

To RSVP for this event, please email