The University of Northampton was represented at the Social Economy Alliance events during the Conservative Party Conference by Executive Officer Nick Allen from 29 to 30 September in Birmingham.
The University is a member of the Social Economy Alliance, an influential group made up of more than 400 organisations – including social enterprises, co-operatives, housing associations, crowd-funders, social investors, think tanks and charities – all campaigning for a UK economy that is better for society.
Five fringe events were supported by the Alliance including a Social Investment Summit, which included discussions about Big Society Capital and other sources of funding for social ventures, a discussion on social entrepreneurship apprenticeships including presentations from UnLtd and Warwickshire College, the role of the social enterprise sector in the country’s future energy needs and the opportunity for social enterprises to contribute towards the provision of health and social care services.
The final event provided an opportunity for delegates to learn more about the Social Economy Alliance’s aims through its manifesto ‘The Best Ideas from The Left and The Right’. The manifesto carries 25 recommendations to build a pro-social economy in the UK. These include new ‘Right-to-Buy’ options for communities, measures to strengthen social value laws, a French-style ‘solidarity fund’ rule, and new powers to prevent land-banking and open up land for productive use
Nick Allen commented: “The fringe events I attended on behalf of the University provided an interesting insight into the social enterprise and social innovation sectors. The events were well attended and delegates were interested to hear the views of key influencers from the Conservative Party, including the new Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson and Lord Young. I also took the opportunity to attend events on the Higher Education sector, which included the Minister for Universities, Greg Clark and representatives from the NUS and Times Higher Education.”
For more information on the Social Economy Alliance, please visit the website: www.socialeconomyalliance.org.uk