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The Faith Based Regeneration Network

Faith Communities and Social Enterprise

The Faith Based Re-generation Network UK is the leading national multi-faith network for community development and regeneration and is funded by the Special Grants Programme of the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.


Seminars in Liverpool and Plymouth held in autumn 2006 are the first of a series of six to be held by the Faith Based Regeneration Network around the country. The seminars will build the capacity of local faith based organizations to engage in social enterprise and also feed into a national report funded by the MB Reckitt Trust which will

  • identify the contribution of faith communities to social and community enterprise
  • identify features that promote and inhibit this contribution
  • critically establish how government policy at local, regional and national levels and the policy of other organisations and institutions relates to the engagement of faith communities in community and social enterprise
  • make recommendations to faith communities and to policy makers that will increase the effectiveness of faith communities' engagement in enterprise.

There is an increasing interest in the role of faith communities in civil society. This is partly driven by government agendas around the effective delivery of services to hard-to-reach groups, and partly by concerns about community cohesion. One important aspect of this role is the engagement of faith communities in social and community enterprise.

The contribution and potential of faith communities in terms of social and community enterprise is just beginning to be recognized. They are important because they:

  • Are seedbeds for this type of enterprise; many of the most quoted examples of social enterprise began as faith based organizations
  • Make a significant contribution to economic and social life in the UK
  • Have the potential to reach the most marginalised and excluded groups

The seminars and the report, funded by the MB Reckitt Trust, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest Community Development Banking, Anglia Ruskin University will build the vision, capacity and confidence of faith based organisations and connect action on the ground in communities with local, regional and national policy agendas.