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Social Venture Weekend

Social Venture Weekend meeting from above.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

We won’t be running Social Venture Weekend at all in 2021. Instead, we are offering a half-day online workshop introducing three key concepts to help you get started with your social enterprise: business modelling, company structures and social finance.

Find out more about our half-day online practical workshop >

Kick-start your social venture at Social Venture Weekend

The Social Venture Weekend at Cambridge Judge Business School is for anyone with an ambition to set up or grow a business that makes a positive social or environmental impact.

The workshop is an inspiring introduction to the social venture sector and a valuable opportunity to focus intensely on your own business. In an inclusive, supportive and friendly atmosphere, you’ll have the opportunity to share and test your ideas with others and learn from the experience of successful social entrepreneurs.

  • For emerging social entrepreneurs, it’s a chance to explore new ideas and get started on your new business.
  • For established social ventures, you will be able to refine your business plan and cement your understanding of business fundamentals to help your business thrive. 
This was my first introduction to social entrepreneurship and I really think it could change the course of my life, my career and how I impact the world.
I now have a focus on what I need to do to go from a sole trader to a social enterprise. I can visualise it and feel more confident in the way forward.

What is the Social Venture Weekend?

Our Social Venture Weekends are for anyone running a business dedicated to making social impact, whether it’s a fully-fledged business or still just a bright idea.

Watch the video

Why come to a Social Venture Weekend?

Two-and-a-half days of world-class training on topics from business models for social ventures and financial tools to market research and pitching your venture.

Watch the video

What does the weekend cover?

Our training helps emerging social entrepreneurs explore new ideas and supports established social ventures to refine their thinking. Unlike other entrepreneurial training, ours is from a social perspective, with a strong focus on social impact within the context of creating and scaling a sustainable business.

Over the weekend, faculty from Cambridge Judge Business School and other world-class experts in social enterprise will cover:

  • business planning
  • market research
  • legal structures
  • finance
  • pitching

You’ll discuss your ideas with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs, developing the story and business model around your venture. The Sunday afternoon culminates with an informal pitch and a discussion about your next steps.

Every talk had an impact and by Sunday lunchtime my idea for a social venture had been completely changed and refined for the better.
The sessions were focused on tangible, practical ways of winning customers and running a successful business.

Who is the weekend for?

The course is for anyone with an ambition to start or grow a social venture. We welcome any business working to make positive social or environmental impact across all sectors, from employment to genomics, ageing to energy.

Social Venture Weekend is for you if:

  • you are starting, or already running, a business dedicated to making social impact
  • you’re ambitious to scale up rapidly, become investment ready, and secure finance

There are no prerequisites for attendees and we do not assess you – we are here to encourage and support you. Attendees only need:

  • a business idea for a new or growing venture to explore through the workshops
  • a strong social mission at the core of your work
  • a willingness to share and discuss your ideas with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs

If you’re unsure whether or not to apply, please feel free to get in touch to discuss your ideas.

Never once did I feel like this wasn’t for me – despite not ever going to university or having been in full time work for the past eight years. It was welcoming, warm, and the facilitators were warm, friendly and approachable.
I went away with a pocket full of business cards and a head full of new ideas.

The practicalities


The weekend is hosted by Cambridge Judge Business School on Trumpington St in central Cambridge.


The fee for the weekend is £75. A co-founder or team member can join you for a further £75.

If the cost will prevent you from attending, please do talk to us. Concessions are available for people who are experiencing long term financial hardship, particularly from the East of England.


Each weekend workshop runs to the following schedule.

  • Friday: 13:30 to 18:00, with a light supper and drinks to follow
  • Saturday: 9:00 to 17:30
  • Sunday: 9:30 to 16:00


We provide lunch, tea and coffee, and on the Friday night we put on a light supper and drinks to give you a chance to meet the mentors and the other attendees.

Dietary requirements are catered for – please make sure you inform us when you book your ticket.


Those travelling from outside Cambridge will need to arrange their own travel.

Find out more about travel directions to the School, including parking advice

There is no parking available at the venue, and parking around Cambridge city centre can be difficult and expensive.

Park and ride services run from five locations around the city. Visit the Park & Ride website

Parkopedia can suggest nearby parking. Visit the Parkopedia web app


Those travelling from outside Cambridge will need to arrange their own accommodation.

We recommend staying within Cambridge city, as bus services from the surrounding villages can be unreliable and infrequent. Alternatively, Cambridge is well served by train from London and other nearby large cities. Towns and villages on these train routes could be a good option.

Find out more about local accommodation options at:

Visit Cambridge

Meet Cambridge

Lonely Planet

We are aware that as emerging social ventures, many of us are cost-conscious! We are keeping an eye out for good budget options and will share these here. Unfortunately as our events are during University term time, student accommodation is limited.

YHA Cambridge

University Rooms


Please let us know if you have any accessibility or learning support needs. We are very willing to make adaptations to our programme to enable you to participate.

If you have limited mobility, please let us know so that we can ensure your safety in case of fire.

Our venue (Cambridge Judge Business School) also has a number of accessibility features to improve access, particularly for people with mobility, hearing and visual impairments. We also have quiet spaces which can be used by anyone, for example people with fatigue conditions, nursing mums and neurodiverse people. 

Find out more about accessibility at the School