UMIP finalists at Business Impact Awards

Written by UMIP on . Posted in News


l to r: Allan Prits (UMI3), Clare Arkwright (UMIP), Steve Mould, Dr Joanne Tippett (Ketso)

The awards, which recognise and celebrate the impact of innovation, were held at the Association’s Gala Dinner in Cardiff on12th June. UMIP was recognised by the judges for its social business, Ketso Ltd, which sells a hands-on kit for creative engagement.

Dr Joanne Tippett invented Ketso whilst working with villagers in rural Africa, planning for the future of their area. Ketso literally means ‘action’ in Lesotho. Her research at The University of Manchester enabled her to test and develop the toolkit with a wide range of stakeholders. In 4 years, Joanne took Ketso from a hand-made kit to a saleable product and in 2009 Ketso was launched as a social business.

The kit is more tactile and visually appealing than traditional flip charts and sticky notes. This makes it highly inclusive, a factor in the Scottish Government choosing it as the key engagement tool for developing its 2013 Refugee Integration Strategy. Ketso generates social value throughout its supply chain, with fairtrade components that are assembled in a supportive workplace in the UK.

Ketso has demonstrated clear impact in enterprise development, strategy and change management, health and wellbeing, environment, community planning, teaching and learning, research and engagement with the vulnerable (refugees, mentally ill, learning disabled). Ketso is the only documented spin-off company from ESRC-funded research, and is used in 41 countries, with more than 350 unique customers and at least 19,800 participants in workshops.

Joanne commented: “I was delighted to be selected as a finalist and to have an opportunity to discuss research impact at the Awards Ceremony. Being selected pays tribute to the role that UMIP has played in supporting an innovative new model for a social business from social science research. It is also great to have recognition for the impact that Ketso is already having and its potential to go on to inspire more people to engage and make positive changes worldwide.”

UMIP’s Director of Operations, Dr Rich Ferrie, added: “It is an honour to have been selected as finalists by PraxisUnico. Ketso as an exciting social venture whose main product has impacted the lives of thousands of people internationally. It’s been our pleasure to provide Joanne Tippett and Ketso with a platform on which to grow.”

For more information on Ketso, please visit

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