New funding programmes, worth almost £130,000, have been launched at Teesside University to establish a network of social enterprises across the region and provide them with training, support and mentoring.
The University won funding from UnLtd, a support charity for social entrepreneurs, to provide three different schemes to encourage social enterprise. The funding is part of UnLtd’s SEE Change programme.This latest tranche of funding from UnLtd means that, over the last three years, Teesside University has accessed almost £250,000 to help social enterprises to grow.
There are three strands to the SEE Change programme which will be offered at Teesside University. The strands include a Teesside University-led social enterprise cluster across the North East, funding to help high-growth social enterprises and a collaboration to create a creative and cultural ecosystem in Darlington.Teesside has already had considerable success working with UnLtd and has helped to fund 19 social enterprises ranging from a company providing activities for disabled children, to an online hub for community groups in East Cleveland.
Eileen Wicks, Graduate Enterprise Manager at Teesside University, said:
We are delighted to be able to offer these exciting new opportunities for social enterprises across the North-East.This is the next step in the development of our support for social enterprise and will build upon the achievements we have already had in this field. Running a social enterprise can be an incredibly rewarding experience and we want to provide as much help as we can to enable social entrepreneurs to succeed.”
The first is the creation of a social enterprise support cluster involving the five North-East universities, led by Teesside, who will work in partnership to improve the social enterprise support infrastructure and include other organisations including support agencies, businesses and community groups.
Louis Garbutt, the new Social Enterprise Associate, has been appointed to facilitate the delivery of the cluster project. Louis will work with the five universities to help implement social enterprise activities and programmes. The first of which is a unique Social Enterprise Start-Up Weekend open to students and graduates of all five universities. The weekend is due to run from 21-23 November 2014 with a whole host of social entrepreneurs and mentors helping teams of delegates develop social enterprise ideas from scratch.
The second strand of funding is a Scale and Growth programme which will help high potential social enterprises to expand. The programme will provide a range of financial and non-financial support to the social enterprises to assist them to grow.
The final strand of the programme will see a Cultural and Creative Partnership formed in collaboration with arts group Creative Darlington. It will work to create an eco-system which promotes the use of creative and cultural activities to meet social aims and provide opportunities for social enterprise in this field.
For more information about social enterprise opportunities at Teesside University contact Louis Garbutt on 01642-738175 or email Louis.Garbutt@tees.ac.uk