Katie secures social entrepreneur grant backing

Katie BennettKatie Bennett
Katie Bennett
Katie Bennett, a member of the Festival of Chichester committee and one of the directors of Chichester Fringe, is one of 39 leaders across England selected for a competitive learning programme and grant of up to £5,000.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme is run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme supports people improving their local communities through trade.

The programme will help Katie and fellow directors Simon O’Hea and Carol Webb to grow Chichester Fringe, which supports up-and-coming artists to develop their skills without fear of any financial risk to the performer themselves.

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“It is a unique strategy that sets Chichester Fringe apart from other festivals. Chichester Fringe’s main aim is create accessible opportunities in the arts for everyone, whatever their age,” Katie said.

Katie will soon begin a nine-month learning programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). SSE helps people develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems.

Katie added: “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme and grant of up to £5,000 will help us grow Chichester Fringe so we can support more artists in West Sussex and beyond.”

Claire Binden, entrepreneurship support lead at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Katie onto the programme where she’ll learn alongside other community leaders how to create lasting social impact for the region. We are confident Katie has the entrepreneurial qualities and motivation to increase their impact on Chichester even further, which is why we have awarded her a highly-coveted place.”.

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Katie added: “Chichester Fringe was created in direct response to the covid-19 pandemic and recognising the need to give performers a safe space to perform, as well as provide entertainment for audiences far and wide. We sensed that there was an opportunity for developing the fringe scene in Chichester, as there was plenty of talent about but nothing like a fringe anywhere around the city. Our aim is to support and mentor up and coming performers of the local area and beyond by providing a free, safe space to perform and enabling them to showcase their work. Promoting the diversity of the arts in Chichester, we are proud to be working in partnership with other local organisations, including Graylingwell Chapel, Chichester University, Chichester Canal, Chichester City Arts Centre, Drapers Yard, Oxmarket Contemporary and the Festival Of Chichester.”

The Community Business Trade Up Programme is run by School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change.