Fear holds back community transport

Fear holds back community transport





Managers of community transport organisations must overcome their ‘fear of failure’ and become social enterprises, they have been told.


The sector’s umbrella group – the Community Transport Association (CTA) – asked during its annual exhibition at Manchester’s GMEX, in November, why only a handful of members were social enterprises.


CIA chairman Dai Powell said the primary reason that many organisations had rejected the social enterprise model was ‘fear’.


Powell, chief executive of Hackney Community Transport, which won this year’s top on social enterprise award, said: ‘We are in an ideal position to become social enterprises and without a doubt we do want to encourage them. People need to know that it is not as risky as it first looks.’


Richard Moreton, chief executive of rural champions The Plunkett Foundation, who was at the event, told Social Enterprise that if fear was a factor among managers, ‘then they should question their membership of the management committee’.


He added: ‘Personally, I think their fear is unfounded. There are examples of people that have gone out there and done it. I think they need to look to examples of those that have gone through the process.’


In a speech to a packed seminar, Moreton said: ‘We feel that the community transport sector has not embraced the fact that they are part of the social enterprise sector and that enterprise can contribute to your social aims.’


He revealed that the foundation’s Rural Revival campaign had not had a single application from a community transport organisation, despite a CIA estimate of about 200 operating in rural areas.


Stephen Sears, chief executive of ECT Group, said: ‘Most people in community transport organisations are counting themselves as social enterprises in spirit, but not in practice. Yes, fear is a factor in some cases, but you just have to convince management committees that it is in their best interests.’


Source: Social Enterprise magazine