Social Enterprise Hub Conclusion

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On Tuesday evening, five mixed teams of students from The Abbey School and Reading School pitched their Social Enterprise ideas to a panel of judges in order to secure funding. This required them to prepare detailed financial forecasts that reflected their business journey and the quality of all the presentations was fantastic.

The ideas were very varied but, common to them all, was the clear passion of the students to help other people with their enterprises. Whether it was to provide text books to underprivileged students, to help the visually impaired with better access when shopping, to help young children with their mental health, to help teenagers with exam stress or to recycle “difficult to recycle” waste – in all cases, the students had a clear vision of what they wanted to do to help people in their communities and the environment in general.

There was no guarantee that any of the teams would receive funding for their ventures but the judges were blown away by the quality, detail and structure of the various plans. In the end, £2,800 was pledged to the businesses to enable them to put their plans into action!

The Social Enterprise movement is growing here in the UK and around the world as society recognises the importance of focusing on a broader Triple Bottom Line concept that encompasses three fundamental pillars – namely “People, Planet and Profit”.

This is the direction of travel for business in the future and we are delighted to be at the forefront of this movement within schools. This was reinforced in January when the Social Enterprise Hub programme was Highly Commended in The Financial Times Responsible Business Education Awards.

When we launched the Social Enterprise Hub last year, we had a vision that we wanted to engage, educate and empower our students to discover the world of Social Enterprise and help them realise that business is far more than just the traditional approach of maximising profits. Listening to all five teams this week confirms that we are well on the way to achieving this and we look forward to many future programmes in the years to come.

We are always looking for willing volunteers to share their thoughts and experiences – be it running a Social Enterprise or working with one or knowing someone who might help – to contribute to our workshop sessions in the Autumn and Spring Terms.

Equally, we are looking for people and organisations who believe in what we believe in and want to help us continue this incredible and unique opportunity for our students. The programme is funded by generous donors and we are asking if you might like to contribute to the funding of future Social Enterprise Hub businesses by making a donation to the programme.

If you would like to be involved in the programme – be it in the form of a donation or to volunteer to be part of the practical workshops – then please contact us for further information.

Thank you to everyone who has made this a success so far and thank you in advance to all of you who want to be part of its success in the future – we couldn’t do this without you.

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