Special I Apps
In 2020, Special I Apps, a social enterprise based in The Old Rectory in Houghton le Spring which develops educational apps for children with special educational needs and disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Downs Syndrome, was awarded an ERDF Innovation Grant to support the development and marketing of their apps, creating new employment as a result.
In addition, a bid has been developed and submitted for a pilot project to strengthen the support ecosystem for social enterprises, encouraging people (especially those experiencing health issues), to start and grow social businesses, and creating 'Healthy Enterprise'. If successful, this intervention will pilot inclusive forms of business advice, incorporating principles of counselling and coaching to develop confidence and resilience amongst entrepreneurs. The bid has been developed in partnership with the NE Local Enterprise Partnership, University of Sunderland, the NE BIC and the council to the Health Foundation's 'Economies for Healthier Lives' funding programme (EOI due 29/01/21) with up to £500,000 available to pilot a number of economic interventions focussed on reducing health inequalities.