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E3M Alchemy supports the development of new, place-based social enterprise solutions to work at scale. Specifically, how to combine the efforts of large and small social enterprises using blended forms of social investment to create new, business-based solutions that can tackle local problems.

It uses an event-based methodology developed with the E3M partners: an intense, 24-hour, place-based innovation event that brings together social enterprise leaders, bold commissioners and social investors with the local council and other stakeholders to explore solutions to local challenges.

E3M Alchemy has the potential to stimulate new ideas and social enterprise solutions that can help:

  • Develop services, which cost less and deliver better outcomes.
  • Stimulate local, inclusive, economic growth.
  • Empower and engage local citizens in solving problems.

The relationships established during the Alchemy events are then a resource that people can draw on afterwards, to support the development and implementation of new ways of working.

Building on work started in 2016 at a special event in London, which used an interactive methodology bringing together social enterprise leaders, commissioners and social investors, we ran our first E3M Local Alchemy event in Coventry on 20-21 November 2017. The event produced some really exciting ideas, which we followed up with colleagues in Coventry to support them as they developed the ideas into new solutions.

Connect Fund

In 2018, with support from the Connect Fund, we organised E3M Local Alchemy events in Oldham and Rotherham, followed in 2019 by one in Gainsborough. Again, participants collaborated to discuss and work through the development of a range of exciting and transformative ideas. We’ve published short videos summarising the experience of the events, alongside a case study for each, which you can view here:

E3M Alchemy Oldham | E3M Alchemy Rotherham | E3M Alchemy Gainsborough

The Local Alchemy events in Oldham, Rotherham and Gainsborough demonstrated the power of collaboration between social enterprises, commissioners and investors. The experience of each of them has been brought together in an evaluation report, which you can download here, and culminated in our Growing the New Economy convention in February 2020.

Growing the New Economy - logo

You can find out more about the convention here and see a video here.

If you would be interested in holding an Alchemy event, please do contact us.