About Nicky Downes

(Nicky Kent) 

Business consultant, Advisor, Coach, mentor, trainer and facilitator  

Nicky is the Founder Managing Director of Social Heart CIC, a social enterprise that offers holistic business consultancy, advise, coaching, mentorship, training, facilitation and support with digital and social media strategies. 

Nicky has over 30 years experience of supporting the business sector and is a social enterprise business and Charity specialist.

Nicky is a qualified and very experienced business consultant, advisor, mentor, facilitator and she has a passionate interest and specialises in Social Enterprise and Charity business.

Nicky also supports those looking to set up as self-employed or a limited company and her most heartfelt work is working with those furthest away from the job market who’s only realistic option of earning money is to work for themselves. Find out more about our Funded Projects.

Nicky has hundreds of satisfied clients, working in a variety of sectors, many leading in their chosen field as social entrepreneurs.

Nicky is also a volunteer Non-Executive Director at:     

Cedar Education CIC   

Awarded Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2020  

Nicky is an accomplished falconer she established the outdoor lessons in ecology, falconry and animal husbandry, which has been part of the CEDAR CIC Life Lessons death education programme for young people since July 2013.


Until February 2020, Nicky was one of three founder directors at Partners for Social Enterprise Network (CIC), leading as operations and financial manager for the business, which she delivered as a volunteer.

Since 2020 the work of this network has transferred to Social Heart CIC, under the project name Shropshire Social Enterprise Network. Further news and plans for the network will follow shortly, but please get in touch if you want to know more in the meantime.



Nicky took the lead role in supporting Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin in achieving the Social Enterprise UK – Social Enterprise Place Award in November 2017 and she represents Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Place at the national social enterprise place network meetings.

Social Enterprise Place Award 2017 – Presented by Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK

Social Heart CIC – Disability Confident Committed

Disability Confident is a movement of change, encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.

Social Heart CIC – Cyber Essentials Certified

Social Heart CIC complies with the requirements of Cyber Essentials Scheme – 2021

Cyber Essentials Certified



A West Countryman by birth, Richard has been based in the Midlands for the last 25 years managing a variety of  successful teams within NatWest Business Banking, culminating in his role as Director for Staffordshire and Shropshire.

With a wealth of experience Richard not only provides financial expertise but also knowledge of training & development, HR, Credit Control, Process Control and Telephony / Online operations.

Involved locally in the organisation / running of several Charities over the years as well as Board positions with local enterprise agencies.

In addition has undertaken key roles in both golf and football ( where he continues to maintain an active interest) Richard is an ideal fit with the ethos of Social Heart CIC. Married with 2 grown up sons Richard has recently retired from the Bank – their loss is certainly our gain.


Judith founded her Community Interest Company in Shropshire in 2011 called CEDAR (Community Education in Death Awareness & Resources) to teach people of all ages how to talk about death, dying and loss in healthy ways.

CEDAR was created to help people understand, accept and respond to death appropriately within their families, workplaces, neighbourhoods and communities.

Judith is an academic with a PhD in the subject and has taught death studies in higher education, community organisations and high schools. She developed a programme for young people called Life Lessons.

Judith’s background is varied in the field of death, from work as an HIV Hotline Crisis Counsellor in New Orleans, Louisiana; Grief Counsellor and Lecturer/Teacher. Judith’s students often comment that she makes learning about death ‘fun’ and ‘fascinating’.

Judith is a wonderful  ambassador for the work undertaken by Social Heart CIC and also the wider social enterprise sector in the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.



Our Beliefs, Values and Transparency

We operate as a Social Enterprise Community Interest Company (CIC). This means our business surpluses are reinvested to help us offer specialist business services to those who need it the most, allowing us to meet our social aims.

The Company Directors do not personally benefit from the surpluses our company makes and we are not paid for our Director roles and responsibilities. We give our time to the Director role voluntary and with a ‘Social Heart’.

We do this because we want the world to be a better place and to give something back to the wider Shropshire community. 

Our social aims are to:

  • Prevent and reduce the negative effects on people effected by unemployment, especially long-term unemployment by helping them into self-employment, or to set up a limited company, social enterprise or charity.
  • Reduce poverty, benefit dependency and reduce financial related social isolation so people feel more able to provide for themselves and their families and have a sense of meaning and purpose in their life.
  • Support entrepreneurs to build a work/life balance so they can be healthier, happier and have greater choice.
  • Create networking, volunteering, employment and training opportunities for the businesses we support
  • Encourage participants to set up businesses with strong social and /or charitable values.ll also indirectly be helping others that are most in need.


Social Values

We achieve our social aims with the money we raise through trading by offering fee paying services, this means if you buy a support package from us not only will you get excellent business advice and support, the local community will benefit too.

We want anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to have the opportunity to run their own business and it starts right here in beautiful Shropshire.

We welcome Sponsorship from Private Business and other Social Enterprises and Donations from individuals or community groups to help us achieve our aims.

All donations and surpluses will be invested to provide specialist business support programmes for hardly reached members of the community, for example long-term unemployed, those who have recently been made unemployed due to the pandemic and to support those with life and work limiting disabilities and health conditions.

Buy Shropshire, Buy Local, Everyone Benefits

Social Heart CIC is a Member of

Social Enterprise UK



Participate Contemporary Artspace CIC

Baschurch Pre-school & Nursery CIC

Your Family Kitchen CIC

Generations For Change CIC

Shropshire Ethnic Minority Alliance

Social Heart CIC Customer

Wistanstow Under 5’s CIC

Feedback From Our Customers

“Nicky is a talented professional, who combines business acumen and practical know-how with the ability to listen effectively and communicate clearly”

Nicky is a talented professional, who combines business acumen and practical know-how with the ability to listen effectively and communicate clearly. Her drive to make a difference, and her ability to support others to put their vision into action, make her an excellent choice for anyone seeking to either set-up or grow a social enterprise. As her credentials and many accomplishments demonstrate, Nicky’s experience is rich and covers a whole range of organizations and individuals from large companies to social entrepreneurs. Nicky is a pleasure to work with, and I am happy to recommend her for a wide variety of consulting, training, mentoring, and networking services.

Dr Phill Gittins

Youth, Education & Peacebuilding Specialist / Community Engagement / Project Management / Trainer / Consultant, World BEYOND War

“Nicky quickly gave me so much clarity and helped me focus on my true purpose in life, which was to share my love of music with others for the betterment of our society”

Nicky was a tremendous source of wisdom and support as I established my social enterprise, Open Harmony CIC, and took the leap into the realm of business doing something I love. I knew what I wanted but not how to get there – Nicky quickly gave me so much clarity and helped me focus on my true purpose in life, which was to share my love of music with others for the betterment of our society. Nicky’s passion and purpose are so strong that you cannot help but be inspired by them and moved to take positive action. She is 100% reliable, knowledgeable and unfaze-able. I felt very comfortable talking to her about my personal circumstances in respect of how they might impinge on me achieving my goals. Being able to trust someone that much is a rare thing

Laura Atyeo

Founder Director, Open Harmony CIC


Learn More About Social Enterprise

More and more entrepreneurs like you are setting up social businesses as they power to face some of the worlds greatest social problems. These problems may be long-term social problems or more recent problems created by the Corvid 19 pandemic, or they may be environmental issues? Entrepreneurs are also wishing to create a work life and lifestyle balance suitable for themselves and their family.   

Social Enterprises use commercial principles to deal with human and environmental well-being and they can range from massive organisations to micro small in size.  

Social Enterprises put something back into the community through surpluses they make, at the same time a doing something they really love and are passionate about. 

It really doesn’t matter if you’re a wannabe business entrepreneur, an online guru, you already have a business, are an individual or a group wanting to set up a social enterprise or charity, as long as you are ready to: 

  • be crystal clear about your intention and want to be free of confusion, self-doubt and overwhelm
  • want to gain confidence, business and social enterprise knowledge, learn specialist skills to set up and build a successful business that makes money
  • increase offline and online visibility through effective branding and community networking
  • create change for yourself, for your family and/or the wider community
  • to be positive about life, want to take action and shout loud and confidently about what you’ve achieve