Wray Irwin appointed as new Social Entrepreneur in Residence

Date 12.11.2015

The appointment makes Northampton the first university in the UK to host such a position.

Wray, who officially takes up his appointment this July and is currently Social Enterprise Development Manager within Northampton Business School at the University, will be instrumental in delivering radical change and improvement in service development and employment opportunities across Northamptonshire, in line with the University’s Strategic Plan and vision for social enterprise.

This is a really exciting opportunity for me and the University, and the role will make a significant contribution to the economic and social prosperity of Northamptonshire.

The partnership with the Young Foundation will ensure that their expertise and commitment to investing in new social ventures will be central to achieving this.

Wray Irwin
The Social Entrepreneur in Residence is a development concept initiated by the Northampton Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), a multi-disciplinary, cross-University institute based within The University of Northampton’s School of Social Sciences. The role of Executive Dean Chris Moore, School of Social Sciences, involves strategic partnerships and enterprise and this appointment will embed social enterprise, public service transformation and public and third sector partnerships.

The appointment highlights our commitment to rapidly becoming the UK’s number one university for social enterprise – and we’re well on our way with our recent title of Outstanding Higher Education Institution Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award from UnLtd/HEFCE.

We are working hard with our partners inthe public, private and third sectors to take the opportunities of transforming the provision of some services. Northampton wants to be the University that adds real social value to the community.

Our social enterprise strategy consists of three elements: a new student offer; the integration of social enterprise with teaching and learning and research in all Schools/Departments; and significant outreach work in the community. The Social Entrepreneur in Residence is designed to help us with the third element. It is an appointment for the county as well as for the University.

Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton
The Young Foundation has over 50 years’ experience of bringing together innovation and entrepreneurship to meet social needs, and will play a pivotal role in supporting Northampton’s ambitions.

By combining social values with business acumen, social enterprises can create innovative and sustainable services, often delivering more for less. We are excited about the opportunity to have one of our Social Entrepreneurs in Residence at the University, placing them in the heart of the local community and adding to the capability of the third and voluntary sector.

Joop Tanis, Head of Health Launchpad at The Young Foundation