Contact Cultures is a media company which EMEN worked with to enable it to penetrate new markets; specifically BME businesses and voluntary sector organisations. David Moulding of Contact Cultures said: “Without the help of EMEN we would have had great difficulty getting into these new markets, which now form almost 50 per cent of our current business.”

World Arts Gallery has been established for 10 years as a voluntary organisation linking arts, craft and music from developing countries to the UK. EMEN helped them become a social enterprise and is working with their directors to help them generate funds for some of their ideas. Managing Director Susan said: “It's great fun working with EMEN. They explain things in a way we can understand and help us focus our ideas so that the project that develops is much stronger and more likely to succeed.”

EMEN worked with Leicester Asian Youth Association to develop a Heritage Lottery Funded project called Young Historians. This trained young people in various aspects of their culture and enabled them to put together cultural exhibitions. The project was a huge success with a sell out show at Leicester's Y Theatre. A DVD and an educational toolkit were also produced. EMEN also encouraged LAYA to work with World Arts Gallery to develop an innovative Heritage comic book produced by young people.

Another new social enterprise. A trio of media specialists in what truly is an international company. The three lads, Akhtar is Norwegian, Angel - Spanish and Arif - Pakistani are experts in their fields which include videography, photography and media lab techniques. While their aim is to provide a high quality social and commercial photography and videography service, they also provide education and training in social and commercial photography and videography to some of the most disadvantaged members of our community and help beneficiaries develop their natural talents.

EMEN worked with Braunstone Garden Care to develop a proposal to set up a Braunstone Community Enterprise. That helped secure £315,000 of New Deal for Communities funding to establish the community enterprise. Our Regional Director is now a member of that project steering group, which meets regularly to develop a business plan, financial and human resources policies, and turn the organisation into an independent Social Enterprise Company. Joe Bennett, from Braunstone Garden Care said: “The help we received from EMEN was invaluable and has helped put us firmly on the road to success.”

EMEN is currently contract managing a Leicester Four Wards Intercultural Project for the Society of Intercultural Understanding, Leicester, funded by Leicester City Council as part of its Community Cohesion objectives. The project will organise four intercultural events in Spinney Hills, Braunstone, Saffron and Belgrave wards. It will also create a DVD of those events. Lastly it will produce a report to update Integrated Cities, which reported on the extent to which Leicester was intercultural. That report was based on a survey of 2,000 people from these wards.

We are currently working with this organisation to secure Single Regeneration Budget/Equal funding to provide business support to BME business and start ups in Derby. That work has got through the first stage and DME have been invited to submit a tender for £128,000.

We are also working with LACBA to help them secure funding for Business Support work in Humberstone.

EMEN helped organise a Media Morning with black and minority enterprise (BME) organisations in Leicester during July 2005. EM Media was created in 2001 to shape a vibrant media future across the East Midlands. Chief Executive Debbie Williams says: “From the beginning the aim has been to create an environment where we can all appreciate and participate in the most progressive film and media region in the country.”