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Supporting Social Entrepreneurs Seminar

Join the Cambridge Social Ventures team at a one-day seminar hosted by the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation to think about some of the issues we face in supporting social entrepreneurs:

  • What have we learned from helping social ventures get started and grow?
  • What are the ‘tricky bits’, such as finance and legal structures, that are different for social ventures?
  • How can we reach more women entrepreneurs and people from diverse backgrounds?
  • How can we ensure that social entrepreneurs create a legacy of impact?

At Cambridge Social Ventures, we’ve supported more than 500 social entrepreneurs to get started and grow. Our top 50 ventures have raised more than £5 million in investment or grants, and have doubled the number of beneficiaries they reach.

Come and learn from our successes – and our mistakes – at this one-day seminar in Cambridge. Meet others working in the social enterprise support space and take home some practical tips that you can use to help entrepreneurs create social change.

The social sector is growing and we hope this event will foster new relationships amongst a community of like-minded professionals. We can learn from each other more about what social entrepreneurs need to thrive.

This professional learning and networking event will bring together people from across the social enterprise ecosystem:

  • Business incubators and business support professionals wanting to work with social ventures
  • People in the public sector looking to support social entrepreneurs in the community
  • Universities and educational institutions responding to student-led demand for further teaching in these areas.

Social entrepreneurs and students are also welcome to attend.

09:30-10:00 Registration, tea and croissants
10:00-11:00 Introduction to Social Enterprise

What is a social enterprise?
Dr Neil Stott, Co-director, Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation

What is a social enterprise? In this rapidly growing sector, a diverse range of ventures are forging their own paths. This session will explore ‘social enterprise’ and showcase examples of social ventures working very differently to make an impact.
11:00-11:30 Morning break
11:30-13:00 Session one

What have we learned about supporting social entrepreneurs?
Belinda Bell and Mark Goodson

The Cambridge Social Ventures programme is deliberately quite different to traditional entrepreneurial support. There are no mentors, no demo days, no elevator pitches. We’ll reflect on the decisions and the mistakes we’ve made so far.
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:00 Session two

Embedding a legacy of impact: governance and social impact assessment
Karen Anderson, Cambridge Social Ventures

Social entrepreneurs need to embed their social mission at the core of their business, particularly those who seek equity investment. This protects the legacy of a venture and ensure that their hard work (and ours!) continues to do good. This session will discuss social mission locks, legal structures for social ventures, and Theory of Change.
15:00-16:00 Session three

Welcoming diversity in entrepreneurship
Belinda Bell, Cambridge Social Ventures

Entrepreneurial spaces can very exclusive – we all know the stereotypes! How can we change the way we train entrepreneurs to enable greater participation for those who have traditionally been excluded by their gender, race, education or disability.
16:00-16:30 Afternoon break
16:30-17:30 Panel discussion

Panelists participating:

  • David Bartram, UnLtd
  • Sarah Crawley, Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Celia Hodson, Journeys for Change
17:30 onwards Networking drinks

Chat and share ideas with the other attendees over a drink.

The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School acts as a platform for research and engagement with social innovators, academia and policy in the UK and across the world. Its primary focus is to promote and engage with social innovators and create and support social ventures and projects. A key part of this work is the operation of Cambridge Social Ventures, which runs an incubator and other practical support programmes for social entrepreneurs.

Over the last three years Cambridge Social Ventures have run ten Social Venture Weekends, which provide two and a half days of intense training for early stage social entrepreneurs. We’ve hit on a model that works, and the social entrepreneurs who attend tell us that 

Our workshops consistently reach a diverse audience, with 60 per cent women and 29 per cent people from minority ethnic backgrounds.


Date: 24 July 2017
Venue: Cambridge Judge Business School

Visit the University's Online Store to register for the seminar. 

Ticket prices