Charles Rapson

I am a Director for Sociability Care and also the CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, Midlands and Board Director at Cole bridge Enterprises

I spent 30 years in the car industry. In 2005, I set up my own consultancy business. This led me to the Third Sector. Impressed by what I found I joined the Colebridge Trust – a community and enterprise development organisation based in Solihull. I initially helped them set up a service providing support to charities and voluntary organisations called Solihull SUSTAiN. I then turned my attention to the Trust’s enterprise activity. Colebridge Assembly was created from an adult day care centre faced with closure. It acts as an outsource assembly and packing service to the automotive supply chain and others. It provides paid employment to disadvantaged people. Half the workforce has a learning disability. It was established at the time Remploy was closing its factories and so gained some exposure.

This led to me working with and eventually working full time as CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) n the Midlands. SSE has been supporting social entrepreneurs around the world for around 20 years but without a presence in the Midlands until 2013. SSE has a unique and successful approach which does not teach but facilitates a process through which social entrepreneurs learn the skills and develop the confidence to run and grow successful social ventures. Since 2013, SSE Midlands has supported or is supporting 125 new business start-ups.