SEE Change 2016: Connecting UnLtd Youth & Education Partners
3 May 2016 - Impact Hub

SEE Change 2016: Connecting UnLtd Youth & Education Partners

By Nickala Torkington – April 28, 2016
Impact Hub Islington are members of SEE Change Phase 4, working collaboratively with UnLtd to embed social entrepreneurship within HEIs in the UK. The following blog was originally posted here.

Earlier this week over 80 delegates convened at Innovate RCA for the SEE Change Conference 2016. A mix of inspiration, collaboration and connection brokering enabled diverse themes of discussion to build momentum for supporters of social entrepreneurs. We also launched ‘SEE Changmakers’ – a booklet of over 30 case studies of social ventures supported by SEE Change partners. This is the first of several blogs to share insights from the event…

“A really slick, well run event, that raised my awareness on a broad range of themes and helped share good practice with colleagues across the UK.  It was a real pleasure to support UnLtd in hosting SEE Change 2016”  were the closing remarks from Nadia Danhash, Director at Innovate RCA one of our SEE Change Scale & Growth programme partners.
From start to finish the day was crammed with social entrepreneur supporters from the Youth and Education Sectors from across the UK, sharing expertise, discussing and debating a range of themes and challenging one another to collaborate in innovative ways to help social entrepreneurs break into the mainstream.
After some context setting from Katharine Danton, Director of Strategy and Influence at UnLtd and setting down the challenge of how partners can work collectively to sustain a purposeful network of value that creates multiple impacts, Stuart Emmerson from SEUK provided food for thought sharing good practice from the ever expanding Social Enterprise Places programme.  Stuart also endorsed a theme running throughout the day, encouraging more universities to take up the ‘£1 Billion Challenge’ set down by the University of Northampton to create a quick, impactful sectoral step change – leading the way procuring more services from social ventures nationally.  As a network we really have the power to do this.
Ed Hughes, HEFCE’s champion of the UnLtd/HEFCE relationship and collaborator within the partnership for over 7 years now, further endorsed this work as we progress into building legacies to support social entrepreneurs. He recognised that while there is some way to go to mainstream support for social entrepreneurs, the HE Support and SEE Change programmes have acted as a catalyst engaging over 100 Universities in England and internationally and providing awards and support to over 1600 social entrepreneurs from across university communities.
A range of contributors shared their views on how making social entrepreneurship relevant to their organisation is creating meaningful impact for them.  Keith Jeffrey from CUSE at Coventry University highlighted how supporting scaling social ventures, creating opportunities for growth for individual ventures as well as growth of the local and regional social economy was key to their success in sustaining programmes. Caroline Bucklowfrom Oxford University shared learning from the development of Oxford Social Enterprise Partnership and how harnessing the collective efforts of the Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University, Student Hubs and the local LEP is building regional support for social entrepreneurs. Nadia Danhash from the Royal College of Art talked about how supporting product and based social interventions we creating significant impact in the UK and overseas. Kate Welch, Do it For Real Partner from Social Enterprise Acumen highlighted how it takes time for ventures to develop and sustainability comes from depth in support and well as a recognition for an entrepreneur’s emotional resilience. Darren Chounigs from the University of Sheffield shared reflections from how collaborative partnerships with other institutions locally and internationally are helping broaden impact and create income streams to keep social enterprise support a priority.
A range of perfect pitches from our SEE Change SOUP participants, made it a hard decision, as our delegates became Impact Investors to vote on who would secure the £500 cash raised through ticket sales for the event!
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8 parallel afternoon sessions covered the following – a range of follow on blogs sharing insights from these sessions will be available on SEE Platform in the coming weeks:

  • Commercialising Social IP
  • Equity Investment Networks in the HE sector
  • Embedding Social Entrepreneurship in the Curriculum to Create Impact
  • Youth Led Social Innovation
  • Building Routes to Market and Procurement
  • Networks and Strategic Support to Sustain Support for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Masterclass – Investment and Growth Readiness for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Masterclass – Social Value for Social Entrepreneurs

Plus the event showcased many social entrepreneurs supported by SEE Change partners through our Marketplace, SOUP Pitching and via the launch of our SEE Changemakers Case Study Booklet with over 30 examples of social entrepreneurs from the HE community- see a PDF of this attached below to share and inspire.
It was great to have so many active supporters of social entrepreneurs together and we look forward to our future events on 7th July (Oxford) and 14th September (Northampton).  Check in to SEE Platform next week for further learning from this event as it drip feeds on-line from our participants.

Nickala Torkington