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Social Venture Weekend

Social Venture Weekend meeting from above.

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.

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.

Why come to a Social Venture Weekend?

Two days of world-class training on topics from business models for social ventures and financial tools to market research and legal structures.

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 two days, faculty from Cambridge Judge Business School and other world-class experts in social enterprise will cover:

  • business planning
  • market research
  • legal structures
  • finance

You’ll discuss your ideas with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs, developing the story and business model around your venture.

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

The weekend is designed for individuals who are ready with a project in mind. Please ensure you do not fall into any of the following categories before booking, just in case this is not the right workshop for you.

Consultants/coaches

In the past, those who work as consultants or coaches have found our training to be a bit frustrating. The Social Venture Weekend is not designed for consultants or coaches, even if they are working to support the social sector.

Other accelerators/business support professionals

The Social Venture Weekend is not intended for business support professionals (ie other incubators or accelerators). We often find the learning needs of this group are very different to the emerging entrepreneurs that we support here. You may find Nesta and their accelerator progammes helpful.

Student observers

It’s great that you are interested to learn more about the world of social ventures. However, we would not recommend this event for you to learn about them. It’s a really hands on weekend intended to give people who actively want to start a venture clear information and actions. It includes sessions that require actual plans for doing social good, and they go quite into depth. Though interesting, not the best platform for you, and not ideal for other participants. However, you might be interested in our half-day online practical workshop.

Charities

This training is specifically for social businesses, ie, organisations making sales of products or services. Charities can be entrepreneurial, for example, if the work is sustained by self-generated revenue through sales rather than being exclusively donations or grant driven. If your aim is to be wholly or partly sales-driven, then our support could help. If your goal is to set up a charity, the Charity Commission is the best source of information. We also trust the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which is a membership organisation for small charities and voluntary organisations.

Based outside of the UK

Social Venture Weekend is delivered in person in Cambridge, and as we’re UK based, a lot of our teaching is specific to a UK context, for example, social finance and legal structures. We therefore only recommend you join us if you are based in the UK. If you are not based in the UK another programme may be more suitable for you.

As well as our in-person Social Venture Weekends we offer a shorter online workshop called Get Started with Your Social Enterprise. This half-day workshop introduces key concepts to help you get started with your social enterprise such as business modelling, company structures and social finance.

If you’re still 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.

The practicalities

Location

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

Cost

The fee for the weekend is £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. Contact us to discuss group rates for three or more.

Schedule

The workshop runs all day Friday and all day Saturday in Cambridge. Full details will be provided upon booking.

Meals

We provide lunches and refreshments throughout both days including on the Friday evening a light supper and drinks to give you a chance to meet the mentors and other attendees.

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

Travel

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

Find out more about travel directions to Cambridge Judge, 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

Accommodation

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!

YHA Cambridge

University Rooms

Accessibility

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 Business School

Join the Social Venture Weekend

Bookings are open for the next workshop in July 2022.

Fill in this short form with a few details about your business, or your business idea, and we’ll be in touch with booking details.

Join the next course

Come along!

Bookings are open for the next workshop in July 2022.

Fill in this short form with a few details about your business, or your business idea, and we’ll be in touch with booking details.

Join the next course

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