Belinda Bell, Programme Director of Cambridge Social Ventures at Cambridge Judge Business School, won a “highly commended” honour as Social Entrepreneurship Champion of the Year 2017 at the fifth annual awards of the Social Entrepreneurs’ Exchange (SEE).
Cambridge Social Ventures, which is part of the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge, was cited for integrating research and practical support, and in helping ventures with training and fundraising.
“Belinda has developed a social venture development programme that is markedly different from other entrepreneurial support available across their University, both in content and in the tone,” the SEE judges said. “The focus is on outreach beyond the University, with events and consistently reaching an impressively diverse audience.”
The SEE Changemakers Recognition Awards highlight achievements of social entrepreneurs at universities, and are supported by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) and social entrepreneurship network UnLtd. The awards were announced in Oxford at this year’s SEE Changemakers Conference.
The Social Entrepreneurship Champion of the Year, one of eight award categories, recognises people who are “nurturing, embedding and promoting support” for social entrepreneurs.
SEE said that Cambridge Social Ventures has “embedded research into a practical programme of support for social entrepreneurs and in return, engagement programmes feed into ongoing research.”
“Over the past three years, more than 500 entrepreneurs have accessed training and development as part of weekend residential activities and 100 ventures have been given intense ongoing incubation support. Of the entrepreneurs supported so far, more than 60 per cent of participants are women and 29 per cent are from minority ethnic backgrounds.
“To date, their top 50 ventures have raised more than £5 million in investment, grants and donations and this champion has been particularly instrumental in helping ventures raise investment. In addition, they provide extensive teaching delivery on the MBA and Masters in Social Innovation, and have provided support to institutions in various countries globally developing social incubators, entrepreneurs and providing peer support. They have also established a significant social innovation project fund and are supporting students to take consulting projects with social ventures.”