Host a workshop for budding social entrepreneurs
Since 2014 more than 700 entrepreneurs have joined our workshops and incubator, many of whom have gone on to create thriving social ventures. But we know that a trip to Cambridge can be a big commitment, especially for very early-stage entrepreneurs.
So, we have created a friendly half-day workshop – So you want to be a social entrepreneur?
It’s intended to bring our support closer to communities and make it more accessible to budding social entrepreneurs. It’s designed to inspire and empower entrepreneurs to keep exploring ideas, and to break down barriers to accessing further business training with us or with others.
After piloting this event in Norwich and Welwyn Garden City, we’re keen to visit more cities and towns in the East of England. We can also run it for other communities of interest e.g. entrepreneurs with disabilities, ‘intrapreneurs’ from the public sector, or BAME entrepreneurs.
We can deliver the workshop for free – you just need to find some willing participants and put on tea and biscuits!
Who can host a workshop?
We’re looking for host organisations based in places or embedded within communities of interest which can’t easily access business training. This includes:
- cities and towns across the East of England and other regions
- marginalised communities, such as people with disabilities, people on a fixed income, refugees, single parents
- people not well-represented in entrepreneurship, for example women, BAME people, recent migrants, LGBT+ and older people
- social sector workers who are exploring social enterprise, e.g. charity leaders, volunteers or public servants.
Hosts need to commit to promoting the workshops and managing RSVPs, as our experience shows that emerging entrepreneurs are more likely to respond well to a local host. We can support you with an Eventbrite template, flyers and social media that you can adapt as needed.
Our needs are pretty basic. Hosts just need to provide:
- an easily accessible workshop space or meeting room, with projector/screen for presentations
- tea and biscuits for a short tea break
- support to welcome guests and get organised (e.g. someone to give out nametags).
There’s no charge from us for this workshop – it’s part of our outreach and engagement work. If you can guarantee ten or so participants, then we’ll come along and deliver the workshop. That said, we recommend charging participants a nominal fee (e.g. £5, or time credits/local currency) to ensure attendance and cover catering.
Who is the workshop for?
This workshop is best suited to people who are already thinking about a social enterprise, or already involved in the social sector. It assumes that participants already have a couple of ideas bouncing around that they would like to explore further.
- Community activists and volunteers: it’s an opportunity to see if your project can scale and become sustainable.
- Those considering a social venture, but don’t know where to start: you’ll be given the basic tools to develop a business model.
- Those in the public sector interested in social entrepreneurship: it’s a chance to think about how a social venture might complement the services you deliver.
- Mission-led startups or SMEs who could become social ventures: learn how social ventures are organised and funded.
What does the workshop cover?
All our training is from a strongly social perspective, with a focus on social impact in the context of creating and scaling a sustainable business. We create an inclusive, supportive and friendly atmosphere, giving emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn from experts.
This workshop is a basic introduction to some of the concepts we teach in our Cambridge-based programmes. It covers:
- business models for social ventures
- developing your value proposition
- social impact assessment
- basics of social finance and company legal structures.
There’s also an opportunity for hosts to say a few words about their work and any business support available locally.