Community Micro-enterprises

Community Micro-enterprises

Small businesses providing care and support to local people.

“Local support for local people”

Small businesses, also known as Community Micro-enterprises or CME offer a wide range of care and support services, such as personal care (for example helping someone to get washed and dressed), cooking, cleaning, shopping, trips out or creative activities, learning life skills within our community or workplace support to be able to work. All services help people continue to live independently.  

Community Micro-enterprises are small businesses with between one and eight full time equivalent workers and must be independent of any larger organisation. They are usually set up by local people to support people in the community. Their size means that they can provide individually tailored support to meet the person’s social care need. 

The purpose of the Community Micro-enterprise Project is to support local people to set up these small social care related businesses. The CME's help people to remain living independently in their own home, increase the choice of activities and support in locations across Worcestershire. This support is funded by Worcestershire County Council and is run by a social enterprise called Community Catalysts.  

Who are Community Micro-enterprises for?

Community Micro-enterprises are beneficial for you should you:

  • want a bespoke service to meet your needs and interests
  • would like a greater flexibility of options to fit around the times you choose  and routines you would like to have
  • have a clear idea about the support you need to be able to live your life and be supported to see, or make, friends
  • can not find the services you would like from the Council’s contracted services
  • are willing, able, and happy to take responsibility for organising and managing your own care needs. There is support for this available from our Direct Payment Support provider, Barrie Bookkeeping
  • wish to purchase care and support from a self-employed personal assistant or small business rather than employing a personal assistant
  • do not wish to or are struggling to employ a personal assistant. This may be due to many reasons including low flexible hours or location
  • are in receipt of a Worcestershire County Council direct payment
  • support for you if you fund your own care (self-funders)

Having Community Micro-enterprises in our area increases the options of care and support available. 

For people fully or partially funded by Worcestershire County Council Adult Social Care, community micro-enterprises will also provide a wide range of support services and options to spend your personal budget. By choosing to have your personal budget as a Direct Payment means you have greater choice and control over your care and support. 

The same flexibility and variety of support will apply for people who fund their own care (self-funder).

How to find out about Community Micro-enterprises in your local community

Details of Community Micro-enterprises that provide services in Worcestershire can be found on 

  • Community Services Directory: Search for help  - the Council has a community services directory that has been set up to help Worcestershire residents search a wide range of support offered by charities, community groups, businesses, public sector, and other organisations across the whole of the county. 
  • The Small Good Stuff directory is run and maintained by Community Catalyst

or 

Please contact any community micro-enterprise directly to find further details including their availability, prices, and policies. 

Services can be paid for by a direct payment or directly from your own funds. 

What standards do Community Micro-enterprises operate to?

Community Micro-enterprises agree to work towards the ‘Doing It Right Standards’ of being safe, legal and sustainable for the support they are offering in their community. 

These standards for all community micro-enterprises include:

  • ensuring DBSs remain up to date
  • ensuring that care and support is covered should an employee be on leave or unplanned leave (a contingency plan)
  • creating a support plan with you which identified your goals
  • demonstrating respect, privacy, confidentiality and always promoting dignity
  • provides a contract which details rates, terms and conditions, complaints procedures and more
  • identifying and managing any risks or health and safety concerns
  • communicating clearly and regularly about the services provided
  • keeping up to date with training and qualifications for the roles required
  • providing invoices and clear methods of payment in a timely manner
  • providing a clear cost breakdown of their service
  • honouring commitments agreements and arrangements to provide services

They are supported in this by Community Catalysts. Community micro-enterprises already set up should meet the same standards.

Some of these small community businesses will not offer personal care support, in which case they will not be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Community micro-enterprises that do offer personal support will need to seek advice on whether they need to register with the CQC or not. Please seek advice on whether registration is required or not: Scope of registration: Regulated activities - Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk).

However, there is an exemption from registration if the small business or microenterprise is an individual and is contracted directly by the person (or related third party), working under their control and direction. Community Catalysts will support the community micro-enterprises through the process if registration is needed.

What are the training standards for Community Micro-enterprises?

The level of training and qualifications are dependent on the services offered by the community micro-enterprise provider. 

As a baseline we would expect the community micro-enterprises to have, as a minimum, the following training:

  • First Aid
  • Safeguarding (children and adults)
  • Food Hygiene (if any preparation of food)
  • Data Protection - General Data Protection Requirements (GDPR) and handling personal information
  • Equality Diversity and Inclusion
  • Healthy and Safety, and Risk Management

And depending on the services provided:

  • Infection Control
  • Medication and record keeping (in line with CQC)
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Manual Handling
  • there may also be specific training to meet an individual’s needs that would need to be completed 

If the community micro-enterprise is CQC registered, then the Care Certificate needs to be completed:  The Skills for Care website hosts some useful information on the care certificate: Care Certificate (skillsforcare.org.uk).

The community micro-enterprises should also have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance (if employing staff) in place. It is also recommended that they have policies and procedures including safeguarding documented. 

Want to set up a Community Micro-enterprise?

Community Catalysts is a social enterprise working across the UK to make sure that people who need care and support to live their lives can get help in ways, times and places that suit them, with real choice of attractive local options. 

Community micro-enterprises work with people who will be in receipt of a Worcestershire County Council Direct Payment, in addition to self-funders. This mix of clients aids sustainability of these small businesses.  

If you or someone you know might want to set up a community micro-enterprise, please leave your details on the Community Catalysts website contact page, using the link: Community Catalyst contact.

Or you can contact the Worcestershire Community Catalyst, Launa Brooks on:
Telephone: 07741 260 676. 
Email: launa.brooks@communitycatalysts.co.uk  

What training can Community Micro-enterprises access?

Qualifications can play a key role in learning and development and there are a wide variety of training available for CME's, from entry level into the sector and career progression Awards and certificates to facilitate continued their professional development.

There is general business advice from Worcestershire County Council ‘Enterprising Worcestershire’: Enterprising Worcestershire - Worcestershire Growth Hub.  You will find information about coaching support, training and business networking events and support as well as opportunities for grant funding.

Coaching support for Community Micro-enterprises via  Real World Consultancy for businesses that are operational for up to 3 years.  CMEs can receive between 3 to 10 hours 1:1 support.

Training can be provided to CME’s via ‘Peter Daniel’. This is pre-start support for setting up a new business via a 2-day workshops/12 hours support. This includes confidence building and personal development as well as business support (e.g., setting up a CME, marketing (creative content like social media) finance, legal and business planning Enterprising Worcestershire Pre-Start support.

Business advice and support can also be obtained for free from Enterprising Nation

Community catalyst support social care related CMEs to set up.  As part of the registration process with Community Catalysts, members have access to resources from Community Catalyst and to peers support groups with other CMEs. Small Good Stuff – Resources 

There are other organisations that can support CME’s:

Worcestershire Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Alliance ‘Better done Together’.  This alliance bridges the gap between voluntary and public sectors and supports the improvement of public services to meet local need: Worcestershire VCSE Alliance - Better done together (worcsalliance.org)

Integrated Care System Academy – which provides training and sourcing jobs by bringing together higher education, an integrated care system, local authority, and the voluntary and community sector: ICS Academy Faculties :: Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (hwics.org.uk).

Direct Payment Support and Employment Hub is provided by Barrie Bookkeeping and Payroll Solutions (BBPS).  BBPS provides a Personal Assistant (PA) Register to match people to Personal Assistants (PA) and vice versa, advice and information to be individuals employing a PA and PA’s that are self-employed and a Payroll Service.  Further details can be found via: Home - Barrie Bookkeeping & Payroll Solutions Ltd.

Additional training and development opportunities are available from:

There is sometimes free training available by your employer insurance provider e.g., Mark Bates, FISH and Surewise

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