Social Enterprise Link (Wessex) CIC is opening up opportunities for social enterprises and liaising with the private, public and non-trading charity sectors, to facilitate the creation of a strong local Social Economy Enterprise Sector. Our mission is to help create and then maintain a sector that commands 25% of the local economy by 2035 in Wessex.

Join us to take make the most of SEL's VCSE infrastructure support. We are members of SEUK and help coordinate Solent Social Enterprise Zone

We will provide you or signpost you to our expert members if you want to start a social enterprise, develop your social enterprise, market your social enterprise, commission social enterprises, find educational opportunities or for anything social and cooperative enterprise in Wessex.  

Social economy enterprises have something for everyone. Here is what it means to Alex Hannant:


We have been working since 2011 in Bournemouth, Dorset,  Southampton,            

Poole, Portsmouth and Hampshire with social, community and map

and cooperative enterprises, with economic development infrastructure

organisations to make this a reality.

Social Enterprise Link is an democratic organisation with individual  and orgnisational members, and we ask members to show evidence of their socially responsible production, trading and work practices.          

We believe:

  • Specialist support and advice from experienced social enterprise and cooperative development workers produces better business results than the alternatives
  • To build a better more ethical business people and organisations should work cooperatively
  • Providing products and services which are socially useful, economically and environmentally sustainable and equitable to the workforce are the fairer and more responsible ways of doing business.
  • That business surpluses used for investment in the business, the benefit of the community, dividends for members and other social and environmental purposes, are the right way to share the benefits of business success
  • Volunteers should experience mutual benefit from their activity and not used as underpaid labour

We are members of a number of cooperatives, consortia, trade associations and informal networks including;

Move Your Business

Social Enterprise UK 


Cooperatives SW

Cooperative SE

Southampton Cooperative City

What are Social Enterprises?

Have you ever bought the Big Issue? Read it over a bar of Divine chocolate? Watched Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen? Visited the Eden Project? Shopped at the Co-op? 

Well, then you already know a bit about social enterprises: businesses that are changing the world for the better.  

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment.  They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community.  And so when they profit, society profits.  

Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies. 

What are Co-operatives?

Co-operatives are a flexible business model. They can be set up in different ways, using different legal structures, depending on what works for the members.

The definition of a co-operative business is that they are owned and run by the members - the people who benefit from the co-operative's services.

Although they carry out all kinds of business, all co-operative businesses have core things in common.

  • Co-operatives share their profits
  • Co-operatives want to trade successfully – they are businesses, not charities, after all.
  • Members, such as farmers or freelancers, tenants or taxi drivers, can often do better by working together. And sharing the profit is a way to keep it fair and make it worthwhile.
  • Rather than rewarding outside investors, a co-operative shares its profits amongst the members.

Featured project:

Solent Social Enterprise Place has 3 major aims:

  1. To create widespread awareness of the Sector and its added social and economic benefits which will increase investment, recruitment, contractual relationships, CSR engagement and development of the Social enterprise sector
  2. To be a sector which is confident, knowledgeable and effective in all aspects of its economic, social and environmental endeavours
  3. To become a mainstream trading and employment sector of the economy.

Please find out how you can benefit

join soton coop city


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Social Enterprise Link (Wessex) Cooperative CIC is business development and network organisation.

Registered address: 90 Locksway Road Southsea PO4 8JP

Website; Registered Company number 07715180

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