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Is social enterprise the business model of the future?

Teesside University will continue its drive to support social enterprise with a special event examining whether it could be the benchmark for how all business is carried out in the future.

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Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University


Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, will visit the University’s Darlington campus on Friday 30 November to explore the role of social enterprises in the economy.

He will discuss the importance of building and buying social value, and question whether social enterprise is a passing fad or the model for how all future business should be done.

A social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximising profits for external shareholders.

The event forms part of Teesside University’s commitment to embed social enterprise in higher education.

Earlier this year, the University was awarded £25,000 by social entrepreneurship charity UnLtd to help support social enterprise as part of a new initiative by the Higher Education Funding Council.

Teesside is one of 56 higher education institutions to be chosen for the scheme, which will provide help with setting up a social enterprise business to students, staff and graduate with innovative solutions to pressing problems in society.

Kate Welch OBE DL, a leading social entrepreneur, is providing specialist support to the University to help deliver the social enterprise agenda.

Kate started off in the world of social entrepreneurship in 2003 with no financial support but with government contracts to deliver training for the jobless.

She now runs the Acumen group of social enterprises, covering everything from employability skills in east Durham to designing and manufacturing furniture in prisons and communities across the North East.

Acumen, with Kate as its Chief Executive, is now recognised nationally for helping people into learning, work and enterprise.

Kate said: 'In the short space of time I have been working with Teesside University I have been hugely impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm shown towards social enterprise.

'It is inspiring to be involved in such an exciting project, and this event in Darlington is just the start of a really positive programme of events.'

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at the University, added: 'Our aim is to promote and support the growth of social enterprise among staff, students, businesses and the wider community and to embed this activity in everything that we do.

'To have somebody of the stature of Peter Holbrook coming to speak at our Darlington campus is tremendous. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to come along and find out more about this exciting and expanding business model.'

Teesside University offers a complete range of dedicated social enterprise workshops in an enterprise development programme to help people gain new skills to achieve their goals.

Anyone interested in further information can contact Eileen Wicks on 01642 384640 or email edp@tees.ac.uk.

Book a place and find out more about the event in Darlington from 3.00pm to 5.00pm on Friday 30 November.

23 November 2012

In the News

Build CSR into your strategy
Gazette Live (Web), 05/12/2012
Last week Social Enterprise UK chief Peter Holbrook visited Teesside University to debate the merits of building and buying social value in corporate life.


Is Social Enterprise the Business Model of the Future?
North East Chamber of Commerce (Web), 26/11/2012
Teesside University will continue its drive to support social enterprise with a special event examining whether it could be the benchmark for how all business is carried out in the future.

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