UN launches innovative Social Enterprise investment programme

Date 13.11.2015

The Social Venture Builder programme is aimed at improving the sustainability and scalability of social enterprises and social innovation in the UK.

Delivered through the University’s social enterprise support service Inspire2enterprise, Social Venture Builder offers an accredited investment/contract readiness programme which focuses on building capacity within social enterprises by developing their leadership capability, invest ability, and contractability.

Consisting of a unique mix of leadership development, coaching, expert input, and business advice over an intensive six-month period, the Social Venture Builder will open up access to networks, commissioners, and investment possibilities, and lead improvement on social impact through increased sustainability, scalability and capability. In addition the individuals who complete the programme receive a postgraduate level qualification in recognition of their commitment and enhanced leadership skills and change maker abilities.

The Social Venture Builder is available to any organisation that is looking to grow, access new markets or is looking to develop a new trading model to attract new investment. These organisations will nominate a senior leader from within their organisation to attend the programme and who will instigate change within the organisation in order to be successful.

As the opportunities for the social enterprise and wider third sector continue to grow, the challenges of developing new business models and leadership within the sector has become increasingly important if services are to be sustainable and operate at scale. The Social Venture Builder addresses these issues by working to effect change at an organisational and individual leadership level; building an organisations capacity and skills base whilst widening their networks, links to investors and commissioners, and enabling them to operate with communities and clients in a more effective way.

Wray Irwin, Deputy Director for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Northampton, said: “As the availability of grant funding declines there is a need for the social enterprise sector to think differently about its business models and how it delivers services to attract new forms of investment and open up new trading opportunities. The Social Venture Builder works with the leaders of social enterprises to redefine their activities and effect change within their businesses to unlock these opportunities.”

To overcome resource barriers to the sector engaging in the Social Venture Builder, the University has developed an innovative deferred payment option which allows all organisations to defer the cost of participating in the programme until new contracts or investment is secured.

Wray Irwin commented: “The Social Venture builder builds upon the University’s success over the last three years in supporting the social enterprise sector. Whilst we cannot guarantee success, the access to high quality support, research driven expertise, and expert sectoral input of the highest quality will ensure that all those organisations that go through the programme will have a competitive advantage when it comes to securing their future.”

For more information on the Social Venture Builder or details of the deferred payment option or any other information on the programme please contact Wray Irwin.

Details on Ashoka U and Changemaker Campus can be found on their website.