HEFCE have commissioned a new piece of research to look at the overarching question ‘To what extent does the Higher Education Sector in England have the capacity to support social entrepreneurship?’ This research will look at the assets, expertise, track record, impact, challenges and future opportunities regarding universities and their support of social entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders. A range of activities will be provided to seek to address this this question, using various methods to engage diverse stake holders and a summary report will be produced in the autumn later this year. Please get involved.
HEFCE have commissioned this piece of evaluation work to be carried out by Flourish Together CIC, a social enterprise which I am a co-founder of, which has developed over the last 3 years in part as a result of the needs of UnLtd/SEE Change partner programmes, brokering relationships and developing interventions to support social entrepreneurs in universities and beyond. A small, dedicated team with varied expertise spanning impact evaluation, social value and support for social entrepreneurs and SE supporters, will carry out the evaluation. Some of the team have extensive experience of working across the HE sector to build capacity and support for social entrepreneurs and partners and some of the team can take a completely impartial view.
The aim is to understand where Higher Education Institutions are best placed to support social entrepreneurs, as well as understand some of the activities, impact and legacies which have evolved to support social entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership in recent years. The findings will be shared in the Autumn across the HE and wider Social Enterprise Support Sector, to help to offer new intelligence into this growing area, to support the development of national and localised strategies
We are inviting universities supporting social entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs themselves and the wider SE support sector to take part in a 15-20 minute survey at the following links:
Survey for universities supporting social entrepreneurs: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SEHEFCE
Survey for social entrepreneurs who started their venture based at a university in the UK: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HEFCESOCIALENTREPRENEUR
Survey for the wider social enterprise support sector: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HEFCESTAKEHOLDER
Your survey will ask you to reflect on:
- Support of social entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership at universities and beyond
-The assets and capabilities of universities to support this agenda now and into the future
-Cross faculty working and wider external partnerships, innovations and legacies to support this agenda
-Future needs, priorities and aspirations to support this agenda
Other opportunities for people to get involved and inform the research include:
- A focus group workshop led by Ed Hughes (HEFCE) and Nickala Torkington (UnLtd/Flourish) at the Breaking Barriers – Making connections conference on 28th June organised by Oxford Social Enterprise Partnership at the University of Oxford you can book tickets to attend the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/breaking-barriers-making-connections-tickets-34618125746
- A focus group looking at ‘Social Value Matters’ specifically for social entrepreneurs whose ventures were initiated by support from universities which will take place in Manchester on 14th July (social entrepreneurs will be invited to attend, please get in touch if you would like to attend)
- A joint event with HEFCE in London in September to share updates on the evaluation, showcase good practice of legacy building across the HE sector in supporting social entrepreneurs and look at strategic priorities for the future
- A selection of other activities will take place in partnership with other activities already taking place
We really hope you will get involved and share your thoughts and views 2 years on from core UnLtd/HEFCE activities coming to an end, in terms of impact, achievements, priorities, needs, barriers and future vision. We will be seeking input from Higher Education Institutions who have engaged in support from UnLtd/HEFCE programmes as well as those who have not and the wider sector to get a rounded picture.
If you have any queries about the research you can contact me directly at Nickala@flourishtogether.org.uk or on 07815023363.
Also please don’t forget there is just 1 week to complete applications for the SEE Changemaker Recognition Awards this year – be in it to win it! See the link below as a reminder of this opportunity for you to showcase your work and gain recognition from a panel of esteemed judges working across the SE and HE sectors as well as your wider peers. The link also takes you attachments for all the guidance notes and forms: https://see.unltd.org.uk/hfe/hfe_news/public/see_changemakers_recognition_awards_2017_call_out__be_in_it_to_win_i