University wins a share of £2 million to support social enterprise projects

The University of Bath Students’ Union has been given £25,000 to help fund social enterprise.

A scheme to help students and staff set up and develop new businesses has been awarded the money from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It is one of 56 Higher Education institutions to get a share of the £2 million pot.

The money will help to fund social enterprise start-ups at three levels:

  • Try It: where students and staff can apply for up to £500 to research and try out a new idea;
  • Do it: where students and staff can apply for up to £5,000 to work on existing projects;
  • Build it: where £15,000 is up for grabs to develop existing business ideas and project them onto a national scale.

Luke Tregidgo, enterprise administrator for Bath’s Students’ Union, said: “This funding is part of a larger initiative to support social enterprise in Bath.

“We are hosting a social enterprise workshop in Bath in November in conjunction with ELON University in North Carolina.

“The idea is that over three days we will bring staff, students and other social enterprise stake holders together to share their skills and experiences with social entrepreneurs around the world.

“We will launch the fund there and hopefully out of it will come some ideas for projects which we can use this money to fund.”

The social enterprise initiative was launched by UnLtd and HEFCE in January 2012.

In their applications for this funding, HEIs proposed a wide range of outreach approaches, from cross-campus ‘virtual hubs’ established to raise awareness of social entrepreneurship and the support available, to inspirational masterclasses delivered by high profile social entrepreneurs.

They will be testing a range of methods and approaches to finding, funding and supporting social entrepreneurs within their institutions, including developing ‘acceleration hubs’ for social venture growth; recruiting ‘social entrepreneurs in residence’ to provide one-to-one mentoring; and setting up online support platforms.

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