Funding Update: Leon Seefeld

The South Africa Challenge 2017

My name is Leon Seefeld and I am an International Business Management student at Lancaster University. The generous sponsorship of the Enterprise Centre and Santander Universities enabled me to participate in a programme called South Africa Challenge. For two weeks in summer, this programme takes young and passionate people out to the beautiful country of South Africa to develop their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. Through theoretical input and practical experience in the form of social projects, participants grow personally and make a meaningful difference in the townships of Durban, South Africa.

It was an absolutely amazing experience to be exposed to the entrepreneurial environment in Durban. A major part of the challenge consisted of meeting partners and learning about their stories in the space of entrepreneurship. We were able to talk to the Durban Chamber of Commerce, Bizfarm (a company providing entrepreneurial support), Catalyx Consulting (a social enterprise catalysing the CSR (corporate social responsibility) budgets of large corporates and community developing initiatives) and many more. Learning from people who successfully entered this exciting space was truly inspiring.

Through our own project development and implementation, we all were able to learn a lot about how to set up an international project or organisation. Especially the research on a particular issue and the creative collaboration to work out solutions are things that I will benefit from for future initiatives and internationally operating businesses. As previously mentioned, meeting so many partners not only inspired me but also taught me how important reliable business partners on the ground are when setting up something outside of your immediate surroundings.

Since all the people we met are really open-minded and appreciate every outside perspective on the problems that they have been dealing with for a long time, I was able to build a large network of people and contacts that I can refer back to in the future. My work at Enactus Lancaster, dealing with various projects in the space of social entrepreneurship, will benefit from this new network, and even I personally can see myself coming back to Durban and continue working with these amazing people.

But not only my Durban specific horizon was widened during our trip; also, my general entrepreneurial skills like pitching, holding meetings, working with the business model canvas and defining visions and values around an idea were strengthened. I developed both as a person, and as an entrepreneur, and took many more things home than I initially expected. Particularly the early stages of a project and organisation are things I dived deeper into and I worked on my own approach.

Finally, I can say I even refined my knowledge about and view on the entrepreneurial mindset. Whilst creating a workshop for young people to evaluate themselves and decide if they might be an entrepreneur, I did a lot of research. I can now say that I have a clearer picture on what an entrepreneur actually is and what the key characteristics are.

Overall I am really grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in the programme; learning so much about entrepreneurship in South Africa (and in general) and meeting so many inspiring people. I am certain that this experience will play a major role in my future career and engagements. I would like to that the Enterprise Centre for making this possible for me and can only recommend exploring this space to everyone else. This is truly a lesson for life.

Spaces 4 Change

Unlock the potential of unused or under-utlised space in your community

Spaces for Change (S4C) is a UK wide programme funded by Young UnLtd. The scheme is looking to fund and support individuals or groups of young people aged 16-24, to start and run social ventures using under-utlised spaces within their community.

Successful applicants are awarded £5,000 of project funding along with a dedicated award manager providing tailored support, cohort support and peer to peer networking opportunities for sharing knowledge and learning.

Expressions of interest can be submitted up until the 13th of November. Successful applicants will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel in January.

To find out more about the scheme and to apply, visit the Spaces for Change webpages.

Are Social Enterprises more sustainable, innovative and profitable?

‘Does doing good make you better?’

There are 471,000 social enterprises in the UK, making up for almost 9% of the total UK small business population. Government research has recently revealed that businesses which put their profits into social or environmental causes appear more likely to be innovative and profitable than traditional SMEs.The research also compared the types of challenges cited by SMEs and Social Enterprise Employers.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the study which was commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on Enterprise Nation’s blog.

Maybe you have an idea for a Social Enterprise? Book on to an IntroLab to tell us about it!

What’s new for 17-18?

If you’ve engaged in Enterprise & Innovation support through us previously, you are probably wondering what’s happened to the Wednesday IdeasLab and Thursday StartupLab sessions.

We found that so many people were bringing new ideas, having just a couple of fixed-time drop-in sessions per week wasn’t giving everyone enough time and space to get the attention they needed

So, this year we’re opening up more slots and letting you call the shots on when they should happen.  We’re still calling them Labs, but there are now lots of different Lab types to choose from.

How does it work?

The idea is simple – we’ll help you put together a personalised development programme and you work through it at your own pace. Whenever you’re ready to work on something new, you book a Lab session and we’ll supply the space, the know-how, the resources, and, where appropriate, bring in like-minded collaborators.

To make this work though, there are a couple of other things that have changed.

  • Firstly, before you start ‘dropping in’, we’ll ask you to register or re-register by completing a short Registration Form so we can get you into the system.
  • Secondly, we’ll book you in for a 1-2-1 chat (called an IntroLab) so we can find out more about you, what you are trying to achieve and what you are looking for right now.
  • Thirdly, we’ll get you underway so you can start putting together your bespoke development programme from our new menu of different Lab types. Regardless of what you are working on or where you are up to, there’ll be something for you.

To get started right away, please complete the Registration Form.

To find out more about Labs, please visit this page.

Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summit

Live Stream of WildHearts Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summit

To ‘celebrate the power of entrepreneurship as a force for social and economic change,’ the WildHearts Group host Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summits, bringing together some of the world’s leading Corporate, Social and Founding Entrepreneurs.

The next summit is being held in London on the 5th of October. The Summit includes sessions on Women in Leadership, Business for Good (both local and global) and Impact-full education. The day includes many inspiring speakers including Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Head of UN’s #HeForShe campaign.

The great news is that you can watch the Summit live from the comfort of your own room on the WildHearts Group Facebook page. It will also be available for catch up following the event.

Social Saturday 2017

Support for Social Enterprises

Occurring this year on the 14th of October, Social Saturday is an annual campaign aiming to raise awareness of the difference that social enterprises are making in communities, not only locally, but also around the world. Social enterprises are businesses that put people and the planet first through re-investing their profits to provide training, employment, housing, health, education, clean water and much more.

Check out some of the great social enterprises that exist around the country online through Social Enterprise UK and see how you can support them! Find out more here.

UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017

Applications now open!

The UK Social Enterprise Awards recognise organisations for their business excellence and contribution to society, as well as the achievements of people working at the heart of the sector. All social enterprises can apply and there are specific categories that investors, corporates, public sector bodies and charities may also apply for.

Applications close on the 7th of July 2017 and the final awards ceremony will take place in London on the 23rd of November.

To find out more about the awards, the different categories and to access the online application form visit the Social Enterprise UK website.

Connecting Social Entrepreneurs Event

Joint University Networking Event

Join this University networking event for social innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders from across the North West. Facilitated by Flourish CIC this is the ideal opportunity to connect, collaborate, find out about relevant opportunities and hear inspirational speakers tell their stories.

When? 5-7:30pm, Wednesday 18th January 2017

Where? Old Abbey Taphouse, Guildhall Close, Manchester, M15 6SY

To attend, register online via Eventbrite. 

We survived the (Social) Storm!

‘You’ll learn things you never expected to learn. Fantastic experience.’

‘Great chance to demonstrate to employers that you can innovate’

‘Give it a go if you have the opportunity’

Social Storm International 11th-12th November 2016

It all started on the weekend of the 11th of November, when nine students took part in Social Storm International – a global 24 hour social innovation hackathon. Students were placed into international teams alongside students from Lancaster’s partner universities in India and Ghana.

Overcoming the barriers associated with remote communication, each team came up with an innovative solution to one of the global problems of food security or sustainable housing, producing a final video pitch. This is the first time that Lancaster has taken part in such an event and we were very impressed with the result and would like to thank the students for their energy and hard work.

However, the hackathons didn’t end there…

Social Storm Lancaster 18th-19th November 2016

The following weekend saw us bring Social Storm to Lancaster, carrying the same problems forward, 20 Lancaster students took on the same challenge in more localised teams.

All three of the final pitches were fantastic and engaging; to have produced what they did within in just 24 hours, having only just met each other was an impressive feat. Thank you to the student teams for putting so much energy and grit into Social Storm, and to the mentors, judges and volunteers who gave their time to support the event.

Special congratulations to the winning team, Social Stormtroopers – bring on the edible insects!

We captured some of the students’ feelings straight after the event:

Photos from the weekend can be found on the U Social Venture Facebook page. Below are just a few of our favourites:

The Enterprise Team look forward to helping everyone to progress their solutions towards social impact in the weekly IdeasLabs in the Learning Zone.

 

Spaces 4 Change

Transform an unused space

Spaces 4 Change is a programme aiming to find, fund, support and connect young people aged 16-24 to start and run social ventures using currently unused or under-utilised spaces for the benefit of the local community, in particular other young people.

From 2016-2019, 100 awards will be available for young leaders including up to £5,000 project funding, a dedicated award manager providing tailored support, cohort support, and peer to peer networking opportunities for sharing knowledge and learning. Those aged 18-24 will also have the opportunity to crowd fund alongside their award with the support of Spacehive.

Expression of Interest Deadline: 10th December

Click here to find out more and apply.