Business news

Region’s universities helping social enterprise to flourish

01 June 2015

A panel of national and regional experts are to take part in the region’s first ever knowledge exchange for social enterprise.

Robert Ashton, 'The Barefoot Entrepreneur', one of the speakers at The Big Social.
Robert Ashton, 'The Barefoot Entrepreneur', one of the speakers at The Big Social.

Social entrepreneurs and people interested in setting up a social enterprise are being invited to the free event which has been organised as part of a collaboration between the North-East’s five universities (Teesside, Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland).

Led by Teesside University and with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) through UnLtd, a support charity for social entrepreneurs, the five universities are working together to help galvanise the region’s social enterprise sector.

This includes improving support opportunities available to social entrepreneurs, as well as emphasising the sector’s potential for growth.

The Big Social: North East event takes place on Tuesday 9 June at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham and features a range of high profile speakers and experts.

The first part of the event will be a panel-led discussion about innovative social enterprise ecosystems developing at local, regional, municipal and national level. The panel of national and regional experts will take questions about the best ways to cultivate social entrepreneurship, how the region can further support the sector and what the future holds for social enterprise.

There will then be an opportunity to hear from nationally-renowned social entrepreneurs including:

• Robert Ashton, ‘The Barefoot Entrepreneur’, the best-selling author of ‘Sales for Non-Salespeople’ and ‘How to Be a Social Entrepreneur’. • Susan Aktemel, the founder of Impact Arts and the letting agency Homes for Good CIC, who was named the Global Business Leader of the Year 2012 by Ogunte, an organisation which promotes female social entrepreneurs across the world.

Delegates also have the opportunity to book one-to-one meetings with social enterprise experts to gain personal insight into the social sector and to seek advice from experienced social entrepreneurs.

Laura Woods, Director of The Forge, Teesside University’s new national business hub, said: 'We know that the region can become a leader for social enterprise and this is a fantastic opportunity for key stakeholders to celebrate their achievements and look to the future.

'It will give social entrepreneurs the chance to meet up and network and to discuss how to overcome challenges to achieve success.'

You can keep updated about the event on social media at @BigSocialNE and by using the hashtag #BigSocialNE


In the News

Round Table Debate: Attracting & Retaining Top Talent
Entrepreneurs Forum, 19/06/2015
Comment from Neil Clark at Eyelevel.


Invitation to social enterprise event
Journal, 08/06/2015; Evening Gazette, 08/06/2015; Entrepreneurs Forum, 16/06/2015
The North East's first knowledge exchange for social enterprise takes place.

Back to top