Sir Harvey McGrath, co-chair of the University of Cambridge campaign (St Catharine’s 1971), has made a donation of £430,000 to Cambridge Social Ventures, a programme at the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School that supports and mentors entrepreneurial ventures that benefit society.
Sir Harvey’s donation will help Cambridge Social Ventures operate for the next two years, providing high quality training and networking weekends for social ventures as well as intensive support within a social incubator. So far, there have been six Social Venture Weekends at Cambridge Judge coordinated by Cambridge Social Ventures, and the most promising ventures are selected from each Weekend to join the Social Venture Incubator in order to develop their socially minded businesses further.
Sir Harvey said: “It is vital that entrepreneurship that has genuine social impact should be supported, particularly in its early stages, and Cambridge Social Ventures is extremely effective in providing that support.”
Dr Neil Stott, executive director of the Centre for Social Innovation, said: “Sir Harvey’s amazing gift enables us to continue to support numerous social entrepreneurs to take an idea to fruition. Over 300 people have enjoyed our weekends and 50 joined the incubator to date. We hope many more will engage with us over the coming years.”
Cambridge Social Ventures runs a series of weekends throughout the year helping social entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and provides a year’s programme of intensive support to social ventures with high growth and social impact potential. This support includes regular business advice and coaching, free shared workspace if required, and help in accessing loan finance.
Cambridge Social Ventures is supporting a range of businesses that have positive social impacts in fields including health, transport, housing, ageing and education – from local to global in scale – ranging from technology start-ups to university spinouts. The programme is designed for people who will drive their businesses forward to create real, scalable, lasting social change.
Cambridge Social Ventures was launched in 2014 by a partnership including Allia, Cambridge Judge Business School, Foundation East and Keystone Development Trust.