Innovative Growth Hub for Social Enterprise Activities


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Posted on 28 May 2014
..this is a great opportunity for social entrepreneurs from both universities to make a real difference to both the local economy and the local community.

An innovative new partnership, led by Keele University is one of only five partnerships nationally to have been funded by UnLtd and HEFCE through their SEE Change Programme for their ‘Under One Roof’ project to develop a growth hub for social enterprise activity across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.  The funding call was heavily oversubscribed and extremely competitive with around fifty applications from across the sector. Working with Staffordshire University and key business leaders across the City and County and with support from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Voluntary Action Stoke (VAST), Business Enterprise Support (BES), the Education Trust, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Newcastle College and Aspire Housing, the Under One Roof Project, led by Kym Billington-Baddley, Enterprise Business Manager in Research and Enterprise Services at Keele, has successfully secured a total of £56,000 funding across three separate grant competitions. The three awards provide funding to encourage a partnership approach to social enterprise across a region, to fund a graduate within the project, and to enable the acceleration and growth of high value social entrepreneurs.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Keele says, “securing this extremely competitive funding from UnLtd and HEFCE to develop social enterprise activity across the Stoke and Staffordshire region is a fantastic achievement. The award recognises the genuine and innovative local partnership we have developed, and the sector-leading work undertaken by Keele over the last two years, with previous HEFCE/UnLtd grants, to further embed social enterprise across campus for both staff and students.”

Dr Peter Hooper, Head of Research and Enterprise Services at Keele says “this is a great opportunity for social entrepreneurs from both universities to make a real difference to both the local economy and the local community.  It fits well with the LEP strategy and brings together a fantastic repository of partnership knowledge and experience that will act as a catalyst for any budding entrepreneur.”

Nickala Torkington, Partnership and Support Manager at UnLtd says, “UnLtd were very impressed by the level of collaboration and genuine partnership working demonstrated in the development and proposed delivery of the Under one Roof concept.  We are very pleased to be supporting Keele University, Staffordshire University and partners to progress their ideas and ambitions to build ecosystems of support and sustainable infrastructure to support and resource social entrepreneurs for the longer term.  There will be much to learn and gain and we look forward to supporting the development of this work and unlocking new potential which mirrors our approach.”

Under One Roof will start its journey with a celebratory launch later this year to kick start the programme of work.

Anyone interested in developing their idea or hobby for societal good, or who thinks of themselves as an aspiring entrepreneur, should contact Kym on:  01782 734465 or k.j.billington-baddley@keele.ac.uk  


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