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HEFCE - Opportunities for HEIs in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem
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HEFCE - Opportunities for HEIs in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem


The Social Entrepreneurship Awards programme …

The Social Entrepreneurship Awards programme
Ed Hughes, Regional Consultant, HEFCE, and Helen Ryman, Local Partnership
Development Manager, UnLtd

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  • Ask what interest is, what contact they’ve had with LEPsI’ll talk about HE programmes, Helen about UnLtd’s place based work, trying to bring the two parts together…
  • PHASE 12009 - 2011 Awareness: UnLtd deliver in 70 HEIsPHASE 2 HE Support2012 - 2013 UnLtd support 56 HEIs to deliver supportPHASE 3 SEE Change2013 - 2015 HE sector will lead on knowledge exchange, skills transfer and mainstreaming support in HE sectorSo , the story so far Started back in 2009 when only a handful of HEIs were in the social enterprise space, and we need to build a mass movement and support for this work. We worked in 70 institutions and supported 200 university based SE.Phase 2 which just ended in August – HEIs given opps to find, fund and support SE. 750 awards and counting and 1.4m invested directly in SE. Phase 3 will be a very different type of programme, very much the emphasis will be on partnerships, collaboration and networks. And really embedding this work in the sector, so that this way of working becomes a mainstay of the enterprise support offer in as many HEIs as possible.
  • I could add further detail on some/more of these (eg the regional clusters)
  • I could add further detail on some/more of these (eg the regional clusters)
  • Thework with Universities has mirrored UnLtd’s core work closelyThese are taken from the UnLtd 5 year strategy but is something you all have contributed to and will continue to contribute towards as part of our Phase 3 work. We support around 1000 people each year to start-up and the vast majority stay small and local – there is no surprise that figures for award making by Universities back this up with the majority of awards being made at Try It and Do it level. A smaller number (50) of established ventures , who have tested their model will be interested in scaling operations and impact to national or international level. Our programme under phase 3 will support some Universities to enhance their support offer around scaling –up and social investment. It is not necessarily the case that bigger is better, sometimes small really is beautiful. UnLtd are keen to identify and work increasingly through partners to reach and support SE. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports that there are 238,000 people starting a social venture each year, and 19% of all people wanting to start a business want to establish a social venture (RBS Tracker survey) UnLtd needs to extend its reach and make it easier for SE to navigate to the support they need, when they need it. 750 awards in phase 2 is a testament to this. Connect with the more placed-based work which Helen leads…
  • -The role of LEPs – strategic, responsible for growth and job creation, fostering partnership. Description below.-UnLtd vision – social value, enables as many social entrepreneurs as possible to thriveAcross UK – offer applies to all parts of the UK, even if administered differently, this presentation will pull out principles that are hopefully relevant to all areas. -UnLtd offer to LEPsMobilising the social economy – creating a critical mass of activity. Awards scheme that creates social value – jobs, skills, support for social enterprises, social and economic inclusion, local investmentLegacy of an eco-system of support, support for all partners playing a key role e.g. HEIs, FEIs, housing associations, community groupsPlace-based work Social innovation? Not by default, but often (need to investigate this, there were some interesting facts from the EU conference)From SEUK report – In England, LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses formed in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead growth and job creation within their local areas. 39 local enterprise partnerships in England. At the heart of the Government’s agenda to stimulate local growth and strengthen the UK’s economy and enterprise landscape. Tasked with building relationships between various stakeholders, including local authorities, businesses, social enterprises and civil society organisations.
  • Engaging with LEPs – Sent proposals, conversations with writing teams and local partners, drawing on research and stats on previous delivery. Making the case, exploring the opportunity, exploring our niche. Proposals sent to all UnLtd HEIs.EU insights – keen to see innovation, built into programme. National govement plays key intermediary roleModels for engagement – On the ground and working locally, with the understanding that even modest EU funds would enable us to deliver impact at scale. Also draw down our national reach and innovation e.g. making best use of Local Impact Funds. Drawing others in, knowledge transfer and sharing all part of the transformation.Ongoing questionsSocial innovation – how are others creating this? Not just the preserve of enterpriseHow to get innovation in areas that have traditionally had a strong track recordMatch funding – need to build successful models How to engage furtherInterested to hear of your experience with LEPsTime capacity is sometimes limited, but momentum is building - let’s stay in touch. Areas we are actively working in are Manchester and the North West, Leeds, North East and Tees Valley, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, SE Midlands LEP, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, the Black Country, West of EnglandConclusionwe are offering two differing but potentialoverlapping ways for HEIs to engagein a place-based social enterprise ecosystems; through the HEFCE funded programme from the perspective of HEI led partnerships, with UnLtd’s offer providing a perspective from the LEPs. We will be interested to hear your thoughts or experience on whether there are intersections/overlaps.


  • 1. Opportunities for HEIs in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem Ed Hughes (HEFCE) Helen Ryman (UnLtd) UUK, 28 January 2014
  • 2. HEFCE and Social Entrepreneurship • Since 2009 the HE Support initiative has: – provided powerful examples of positive change – Developed an innovative approach to supporting social entrepreneurs • helped universities and colleges to develop their support structures for social entrepreneurship • made it easier for students and staff to start up a social venture and thrive within the higher education environment
  • 3. Social Entrepreneurship as part of HEFCE’s strategic plan Social Entrepreneurship is a key and growing element of the HE sector’s knowledge exchange work
  • 4. Social Enterprises are a significant and growing part of the economy Part of contribution of HE to civic society (‘anchor institutions’?) Social Entrepreneurship is important to HEFCE and the HE sector Offer a different approach to Knowledge Exchange, demonstrate Impact Support employability and student experience agendas
  • 5. Our journey so far… adopt, adapt, embed, amplify Dare To Be Different HE Support SEE Change … and what we’ve learnt • huge potential in the sector • time and continuity needed for culture change • need for senior leadership support  Evidence gathering  Fit with strategic goals
  • 6. SEE Change KEY AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT • • • • • • • Build towards critical mass Expert regional or thematic clusters led by HEIs Graduate training programme run by HEIs Partnership innovation fund Early stage to social investment support HEI led ‘Train the Supporter’ system National Learning and Knowledge Network
  • 7. What we’re looking for… • A strong delivery team and credible Lead. • A cross-institutional approach to delivery with support to both staff and students. • Proposals that bring innovation and/or new approaches to the delivery of support to high potential social entrepreneurs. •Willingness to collaborate to capture and share learning, tools and resources, to maximise the benefits of the programme
  • 8. Linking HE work and UnLtd’s strategy MAIN AREAS OF FOCUS • Supporting social entrepreneurs to start-up • Supporting those with more established ventures to scale-up • Developing the ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurs - including place-based - to make it easier for people to find help, get started, and thrive
  • 9. Local Enterprise Partnerships • LEPs – strategic, responsible for growth and job creation, fostering partnership • UnLtd – social value, enabling as many social entrepreneurs as possible to thrive. Across UK. • UnLtd offer to LEPs – Mobilising the social economy – Legacy of an eco-system of support – Place-based working – Social innovation?
  • 10. UnLtd UK Core Model Backing people first, projects second Seed funds, confidence building, development support, skill building, contacts and networks Four stages – the first four steps into becoming a social entrepreneur Thousands of micro ventures, dozens of national scale ventures Building an ecosystem of start up support: getting mainstream agencies to adopt the model Step 2 Step 1 Someone with an idea Taster experience to build confidence Try It Award: £500, confidence, support Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Social venture Social Incubation to get Making a getting to venture ready to scale up start, trying sustainability, getting to and become it for real entrepreneur national investment ready going full time impact Do It Award: £5k, confidence, connections Build It Award: £15k Grant, skills, connections,mentors More social entrepreneurs get help to start up and scale up Skills and confidence to lead Supportive environment Social capital Social impact Social innovation Economic impact Raised aspiration in disadvantaged communities People often come in & step off this journey at any point, though many stay networked. Most people become local / sole traders, a minority scale up. Business model Desired outcomes Fast Growth Awards: £20k, intensive support, mentors. Big Venture Challenge: Brokerage to £25k-100k match funding, social investors skills, connections, mentors Wayra UnLtd – digital & mobile tech incubator Core endowed foundation from National Lottery External funders using the model to deliver in their priority areas, eg HEIs, youth, communities Pro bono mentoring and peer to peer support Amplify model: inspire & train mainstream agencies to resource & deliver support in their sectors
  • 11. Examples Jayne Hulbert, Jayne Cresswell, The SWEET project – Providing key services SWEET offers social work internships linking closely with vulnerable families in order to prevent social problems from escalating. Over a period of six months, for example, the project worked with over 250 people and only referred 2 onto social services. This makes a huge difference to families’ lives, offers interns valuable experience and makes savings for the Local Authority. Jimmy Chan, Build It Award (Big Local) – Employment and the local economy Jimmy runs a bicycle recycling project and shop and is using his Award to gain stability, grow the market and create new facilities, training and employment opportunities providing much needed services and resources to his local area experiencing disadvantage. Jon Cousins, Moodscope – Product development and positive health outcomes A successful businessman and online entrepreneur, Jon nonetheless suffered from strong depression. Jon developed Moodscope, an online service that enables those with mental health problems to objectively assess their moods and share the results with a trusted friend for support. Moodscope’s early research suggests that two-thirds of users should see a noticeable improvement in health within 28 days. Growth - Big Venture Challenge – Bespoke support and links to local business infrastructure This project has demonstrated how a small grant fund matched against risk capital can encourage an influx of investment. This work has a strong track record of leverage – the current programme has a cohort of 30 social enterprises, and after 7 months, 12 ventures have accessed £990,000 of match finance and drawn in £1,780,000 inward risk investment in the form of equity and loans.
  • 12. Social innovation in LEP areas • Engaging with LEPs – progress to date – LEP Network - – SEUK report • EU insights • Models used for engagement • Ongoing questions • Conclusions • How to engage further with HEFCE, LEPs, UnLtd
  • 13. Contact Details Ed Hughes Regional Consultant, HEFCE 0117 931 7265 Helen Ryman Local Partnership Development Manager 07860 755 830, 0121 766 4570 (Mon, Weds, Thurs)