Held at the Care Co-ops Social Enterprise Centre, the event saw the presentation of the refreshed Brighton & Hove Social Enterprise Strategy and the launch of the new Social Enterprise Network website.
It was an opportunity to celebrate the powerful contribution that social enterprise makes to the city.
Brighton & Hove’s thriving third sector is rightly well known for its dynamism and creativity and I’m determined to see this translated into recognition for the city as a real pioneer in social enterprise, and a major destination for social entrepreneurs and social investment.
Looking around the room on Friday I saw plenty of evidence to back up my assertion that Brighton & Hove is exactly the right place to be promoting social enterprise.
Social enterprises stand out for me because they are win/win models, increasing social capital and delivering economic benefits at the same time.
Social – and indeed environmental - capital does not have to get in the way of economic activity and employment. On the contrary it can encourage and enhance it.
And it can help businesses future proof themselves against economic downturns by embedding them in the fabric of the community and giving community members a stake – financial or otherwise - in their continued success.
I see social enterprise as key to helping to build a strong resilient local economy.
That’s been one of my priorities, as a Brighton MP – building an economy that can weather all manner of crises, and consistently deliver benefits to the local community.
So I will continue to press for measures that benefit social enterprise and local businesses, including a small business rates relief scheme, better terms for energy contracts, reduced VAT on tourism and a living wage.