The University of Manchester through UMI3 Ltd and MEC scoop ‘Outstanding HEI Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award’

The University of Manchester through its programme delivery team consisting of its Innovation Group, UMI3 Ltd and Manchester Enterprise Centre, MEC, have been recognised for their work in supporting and developing social enterprise innovation at the University by winning the ‘Outstanding HEI Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award’ at the UnLtd National Conference held in London on 17th July.

Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, comments: “The University is committed to maximising the impact of our research and to a strong emphasis upon social responsibility. The excellent achievements of our staff and students fulfil both of these agendas. Particular credit goes to colleagues from UMI3 Ltd and the Manchester Enterprise Centre who provided the encouragement and expertise needed to support the emerging successful social entrepreneurs.”

Over the past 12 months, UnLtd and HEFCE have supported 56 Higher Education Institutions in England to take up the challenge of finding and supporting social entrepreneurs within their institutions. The University’s selection allowed the further development of its social enterprise strategy with the announcement of a Social Enterprise Competition to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs from across the University. This undoubtedly expanded the support and offering to social entrepreneurs as well as developing additional tools and resources whilst growing internal and external networks. Social enterprise was incorporated as a specific theme into the Venture Competitions run by MEC and alongside these competition rounds UMI3 Ltd and MEC developed a programme of intensive support from idea generation and application support to mentor brokerage and specialist support.

On hand to offer advice have been established University of Manchester social entrepreneurs, Dr Gill Green of STORM CIC, a company providing self-harm, suicide and self-injury mitigation training for frontline staff and Joanne Tippett of Ketso Ltd, which produces a ‘hands-on kit’ that provides table-top tools to record and display ideas in meetings and workshops. Ketso is the only documented spin-off company from Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research. The Social Enterprise Brief Case, a workshop and workbook designed by specialist innovation company Novomodo Ltd, to inspire social enterprise thinking in Higher Education was launched at the Innovation Centre. This encouraged participants to think in a deeper and more focused way about their hidden potential as well as providing practical advice to assist with the construction of well rounded applications for the competition.

Dr Laura Etchells, UMIP’s Enterprise and Business Development Manager comments: “It has a been a double success for Manchester today with Helen Power from MBS, receiving runner-up in the most outstanding social entrepreneur category. This reinforces the success of the competitions with over 100 ideas being submitted by entrepreneurial staff, students and recent alumni. In total we have allocated over £59000 to 27 award winners from across the whole University Campus and look forward to helping these budding entrepreneurs continue in their journey to success.”

Dr Martin Henery from MEC and our HEFCE Social Enterprise Ambassador comments: “The potential benefits to students, staff, the University and the wider community in the form of experience and skills development, measurable impact of research, experiential learning opportunities and real social impact has only just been begun to be explored. These awards indicate that we are moving in the right direction and we all look forward to working with our current award winners as well as continuing to uncover more exciting ideas and enterprises in order to really scale up our work and more importantly these valuable social benefits over the next few years.”


Image: Lead The Change UnLtd National Conference, UCL. 17th July 2013

(1-r: Rick Watson, Novomodo; Laura Etchells, UMIP; Martin Henery, MEC; Tony Walker, UMIP; Jim Ineson, Enactus)