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Leading Social Ventures seminar

Møller Centre.

The Leading Social Ventures seminar supports chief executives of medium to large social enterprises who are managing and leading growth and striving for increased social impact.

Join a small cohort of peers for three days in October at the beautiful Møller Centre at the University of Cambridge to explore how you can make a step-change in your social venture and get ready for the next stage of growth in your business.

This residential programme incorporates teaching from academic experts and social sector practitioners and has been developed to provide time for peer support, individual reflection and planning. It’s not a mini-MBA or a leadership course – it’s a chance to reflect on your work, learn from experts in social enterprise and connect with others on the same journey.

The workshop costs £3000 +VAT.

Payment is made after applicants have been accepted on the programme. It is normally made by card online, or we can issue an invoice on request.

The programme includes:

  • three days of expert training at the University of Cambridge with a small cohort of social sector leaders
  • a private dinner at Trinity Hall College
  • the full 34 Gallup CliftonStrengths™ assessment by an accredited Gallup coach
  • an individual mentoring session in the months after the workshop to help you apply your learning to tackle a particular business challenge
  • ongoing connection to a broad community of social innovators at the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation.

The fee also covers:

  • en-suite accommodation for two nights on-site at the Møller Centre
  • on-site parking and bike hire
  • meals and refreshments
  • learning materials.

It does not include travel or transfers. If attendees wish to spend an extra day in Cambridge either side of the workshop, accommodation can be arranged at cost.

The residential seminar will focus on a set of core topics that are vital for leaders of growing social businesses:

  • Personal development and resilience.
  • Leadership.
  • Social impact measurement.
  • Team building and human resources.
  • Financial management.

The workshop sessions will be led by experts from Cambridge Judge Business School and from the social sector, coupled with social entrepreneurs who will share their experience as a case study, and time for group discussion and reflection.

A couple of months after the residential, you’ll have the chance to catch up with one of the team in an individual mentoring session to help you apply your learning to tackle a particular business challenge.

Day 1 – Wednesday 30 October 2019

14:00 – Afternoon tea and registration

Session 1 – leading organisations through change with strengths-based resilience

This session will set the scene for the following days, building trust in the cohort through personal reflection and structured exercises to explore personal leadership styles and resilience. You will reflect on what you want to achieve and what your current business priorities are.

We will use the Gallup CliftonStrengths™ tool to consider your approach to leadership and management, led by experienced and accredited Gallup coach Karen Leigh Anderson.


We will share a case study of failure in a social enterprise for discussion the next day. Case study teaching is a mainstay of business education and a great opportunity to reflect on decision-making processes.

Evening – punting on the river Cam (or optional free time)

A chance to deepen your connections to the cohort of participants and discuss your work with our team in an informal setting. Reflect on your practice as we meander past ‘The Backs’ of the old Colleges, or take the helm by guiding the punt yourself! If the weather doesn’t co-operate then we will take a private tour of the contemporary art collection at Murray Edwards College – the largest collection of art by women in Europe. Afterwards we’ll gather for a pub supper.

Day 2 – Thursday 31 October 2019

Session 2 (morning): creating and assessing social impact in growing organisations

The underlying focus here is “Why are you running this business? What is the change you want to see in the world?” At your stage of growth, CEOs like you need to consider how effective your work truly is and interrogate your Theory of Change.

Through case studies, we will facilitate open discussions about real change and how change happens. We will reflect on the ‘dark side’ of social innovation and failure in social ventures, and discuss the very real costs and challenges of maintaining a social mission within a growing business.

Session 3 (afternoon): building the team to deliver the change

Team management is much more than hiring and firing. How do you create a culture that reflects your values and the social impact that your business was built to deliver? As a leader, how to you create and guide organisational values?

Evening: private dinner at Trinity Hall

Our pre-dinner speaker is Professor Jennifer Howard Grenville, fellow at Trinity Hall and Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies at Cambridge Judge, who will share the latest thinking on organisational change and identity.

Guests at dinner will include leaders from academia and practitioners in social innovation and social enterprise.

Day 3 – Friday 1 November 2019

Session 4 (morning): financial management for growth

We all manage to balance the books somehow, but we know from our work with hundreds of entrepreneurs that many CEOs do not feel confident with financial management. Learn how to take control of your numbers, to assess and interrogate your own management accounts so that you can get a true understanding of your venture’s health and potential for growth. Even our most experienced entrepreneurs tell us that these sessions leave them feeling empowered.

Session 5 (morning): what’s next?

An interactive and reflective session for you to work alone or together, with our guidance, to make plans to see you through a significant step-change or period of growth in your business.

The workshop closes at 13:30 – we’ll have a packed lunch that you can take away with you for a long journey home… or, if weather allows, join us in the gardens for a picnic.

About the Møller Centre

Moller Centre entrance.

We are excited to spend three days at the Møller Centre at Churchill College for this workshop – their gardens, meeting rooms and on-site accommodation are an oasis of calm – the perfect place to reflect on your own practice as entrepreneurs and to forge new connections with like-minded leaders.

A professional, calm environment designed to inspire business executives while providing premium hotel-level service and amenities, the Møller Centre also boasts 42 acres of parkland in the grounds of Churchill College for networking or relaxing.

Many meeting rooms overlook the manicured Churchill College playing fields surrounding the Møller Centre building, and this workshop will make use of the spaces inside and outside to provide space for you to reflect and think. Magnetic walls allow for freer mind-mapping, idea-generation and collaborative work sessions.

Located a 15-minute walk into the historic city centre of Cambridge, with easily accessible transport links, the Centre also provides 140 parking spaces entirely free-of-charge to meeting room attendees and event delegates.

Four-star equivalent en-suite bedrooms are located on-site, and the private restaurant in the stunning Møller Centre tower enjoys 360-degree views of playing fields. All food is cooked on the premises by a team of internationally trained chefs, led by Executive Chef Alex Bigot. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner – in addition to the complimentary unlimited refreshment snacks adjacent to our meeting rooms – the restaurant offers an extensive range of international cuisine and caters for all dietary requirements.

About Trinity Hall

Trinity Hall College.

Our friends at Trinity Hall are kindly hosting a small, private dinner as part of this programme, with invited leaders from the University and the social sector.

They share our commitment to supporting social enterprise. Together we recently launched the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize, rewarding achievement and ambition in those making social impact through business. They are also dedicated to developing their students into a new generation of leaders in the social sectors – including supporting their students into internships with companies like yours.


You can read more about our commitment to accessibility under the ‘inclusivity and access’ tab.

Our main venue, the Møller Centre, has a number of accessibility features for those with mobility or other access requirements.

Read the Møller Centre accessibility statement

Other venues – for example our dinner at Trinity Hall – have been selected with accessibility in mind and we can provide further information as requested.


If you do not meet these criteria, but are interested in the programme, please feel free to email [email protected] to discuss. If you’re not the right fit for this programme we may be able to recommend other options.

The programme is intended for founders, CEOs or top-level managers of social enterprises, for example:

  • Founder or senior leader in an established social enterprise.
  • Leader of a public sector spin-out.
  • Manager of the trading subsidiary of a charity.

It is not intended for early-stage or startup enterprises – for those we recommend one of our other programmes.

Applicants for the programme should be able to show a track record of leadership in an established, sustainable social enterprise, i.e., a venture making social or environmental impact through business. They should meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Have been up and running for two or more years.
  • Turnover of more than £300,000 annually.
  • A team of 10+ employees (full-time equivalent – not volunteers or board members).
  • Investment: secured series A funding or a significant seed round.

In addition, applicants should be:

  • based in the UK or with a very strong UK link
  • making proven social or environmental impact
  • a business – i.e. funded primarily by self-generated revenue rather than grants/donations.

We welcome ventures from any sector with any legal structure. There are no minimum education requirements – we welcome you whatever your educational background! You can read more about our commitment to accessibility and inclusivity under that tab.

A note on charities and grant-funded enterprises

We are in the Business School, and so our support is intended for people making social impact through business and entrepreneurship. That said, the line between charity and corporate is increasingly blurry! Leaders of charities, non-profits and public sector organisations are very welcome to apply, if their work is driven by self-generated revenue. Organisations or projects which are primarily philanthropic or grant-funded, while important and impactful, may not find this training suits their needs.


Social innovation comes from everywhere, and so we are committed to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, class, identity, and experience. Some of the best social entrepreneurs are those with personal experience of the issues they are trying to solve.


We might be Cambridge, but we welcome people from all backgrounds and levels of education, whether you left school young or have a PhD. If you are worried about your level of knowledge coming into the programme, please do email us so we can put your fears at rest.


Our venue, the Møller Centre, has a number of accessibility features for those with mobility or other access requirements

Read the Møller Centre accessibility statement

We also take accessibility very seriously in the design of our teaching – we don’t want anyone to miss out on our support because of disability or any other accessibility needs. We are very willing to make adaptations to enable you to participate to your fullest extent.

Please let us know if you have any accessibility or learning support needs, including physical or mental health, learning support and family caring commitments, either at the point of application or further down the line.

Ready to apply?

Applications for the Leading Social Ventures seminar are now open.

Apply for Leading Social Ventures

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Tel: +44 (0)1223 781310

[email protected]

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