As another academic year closes, we were proud to showcase our Social Entrepreneurs to an audience of representatives from the University, successful social entrepreneurs and the local business support community. Our Social Enterprise Competition 2014, which was open to all University staff and academics, has resulted in 7 outstanding social entrepreneurs receiving £14000 of awards to further develop their ideas.
To celebrate their achievements, our UMIP Showcasing Social Entrepreneurs Event was held on July 17th at our Innovation Centre, UMIC. We showcased a wide range of innovative ideas, addressing social or environmental needs from a solar powered LED lighting system to using visual imagery to connect arts and science.
Dr Gill Green, STORM Skills Training CIC CEO and UMIP social enterprise ambassador, comments: “The calibre of the social enterprises on show was inspiring, as was the University’s ambition to embrace this area and become a beacon university for social enterprise. Staff and students alike can feel real pride in what has been created in such a brief period of time.”
There were two categories to reflect the development stage of enterprise ideas and over the course of the competition we have awarded:
- 4 Try it Awards: for social entrepreneurs to try out their ideas by finding out if their idea is viable, learning more about what is needed and trying the project on a small scale initially.
- 3 Do it Awards: to allow an entrepreneurial idea to grow. Do It Awards are for social entrepreneurs who are confident their project will work and have the basic skills to ‘do it’.
Dr Laura Etchells, UMIP’s Enterprise and Business Development Manager, comments: “The continued support from UnLtd through their programmes has been invaluable in helping us to really build on our existing commercialisation operations to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs from across the University. The competition this year has again been very successful and we received over 19 applications from entrepreneurial staff identifying social enterprise ideas with real societal benefit.”
As well as funding these new ideas, we have been focusing on developing some of the opportunities from last year’s programme and we now have a jointly funded Build It Award (Helen Power, Levenshulme Market) with UnLtd and two social ventures being pursued through the UMIP Entrepreneur in Transit (EiT) initiative (HiSolar and PLP). The University is also extremely pleased to announce it has recently secured Scale and Growth funding from UnLtd and HEFCE to continue supporting social entrepreneurs who’s ideas are beginning to reach a scalable point.
The Enterprise Team will be continuing to actively seek budding social entrepreneurs to test out their ideas and will be looking to support our existing cohort of awardees as they start to scale and grow their enterprises.
Click on photo to enlarge
(1st row l-r: Helen Chilton – High Expectations for Deaf Children, Dr Jenna Ashton – The Silence of the Photograph, Catriona Kennedy – Smart Assistance App, Jane Raftery – MaccFutures, Liz McIllroy- iBop, Dr Raj Ariyaratnam – SOSTEK-M)
The world’s largest not-for-profit global mentorship and education network The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) has joined forces with UMIP, the University of Manchester’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation.
The pairing will see up to 35 student, spin-out or social enterprises from the University given the opportunity to access the TiE mentorship programme in both local sessions and by remotely connecting to TiE’s global network of business experts.
Regional sessions will be held at Founders Dock hub or in Quay House, Spinningfields – a new incubator that offers start-ups a range of support, including office space, technology and coaching from industry experts.
Organisations from UMIP will be invited to attend an on-going calendar of TiE events, seminars and workshops and will enjoy connections with the entire network, offering the opportunity for collaborations, the validation of business models and funding links.
Participating enterprises will also gain access to Founders Dock and will be able to utilise hot-desking, state-of-the-art technology and amenities like printers and web conferencing.
The collaboration will also entail:
• TiE mentors and speakers attending and presenting at UMIP events
• Related workshops at UMI3 (the University of Manchester Innovation Company)
• Student groups working alongside TiE mentors
• Collaborations of press, communications and media from the two organisations.
The relationship between the two organisations was driven by University of Manchester alumnus Vikas Shah, managing director of the Swiscot Group and Vice-President and Board Member for TiE’s branch in the north of the UK. He said: “Being a University of Manchester alumnus I was keen to develop links between the University and TiE. We are in an innovation economy, where the future global business success stories will be those driven by technology, intellectual property and science. UMIP and The University of Manchester are globally respected in this regard, and we are proud to be partnered with them.”
Tony Walker, Director of Enterprise and Business Development at UMIP, also welcomed the partnership, stating: “This partnership enables us to provide both our student and academic entrepreneurs with access to successful business mentors on a global scale. Access to such a successful TiE resource will be invaluable in helping them gain a greater understanding of their particular market characteristics and developing additional resource capability. “
As part of HEFCE’s £2 million programme to strengthen and broaden support for Social Enterprise in Higher Education Institutions, UMIP is delighted to announce the Social Enterprise Competition Round 2 is NOW OPEN.
The University of Manchester continues to develop an ecosystem of support for budding Social Entrepreneurs and the UMIP Social Enterprise Competition not only offers prize money for winners but also provides a series of mentoring opportunities, business development sessions and further funding opportunities.
The competition will close on the 13th June 2014 however, we strongly advise candidates to submit an application as soon as possible to receive feedback from the team and to improve the chances of being successful.
• Are you a member of staff or an academic at The University of Manchester?
• Do you have an idea that could have a social or environmental application/ output?
Then we want to hear from you!
If you’re not sure what makes a social enterprise, or how to go about starting, just get in touch. We’re happy to talk to interested candidates.
To find out more about Social Enterprise and how to apply to the competition please visit: www.umi3.com/social-enterprise
Student social entrepreneurs will be able to apply for funding via the Manchester Enterprise Centre Venture Further Competition (https://mec.portals.mbs.ac.uk/Enterpriseactivities/Competitions.aspx )
The Royal Town Planning Institute North West has awarded Dr. Joanne Tippett a commendation for positive community engagement for her work with Ketso, the innovative product she created to support collaboration and creative group work.
Ketso is the first spin-out founded by a female entrepreneur from The University of Manchester's humanities faculty, as well as being the first spin-out from research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). In the four years since the company was launched, the hands-on toolkit has proved a huge success with organisations, ranging from the Scottish Government Equality and Diversity team, to MerseyCare NHS, to local authorities and over half of the UK's universities.
Described as a 'workshop in a bag', Ketso provides a range of tools for participants that are designed to ease the exchange of ideas and build a clear picture of the group's thinking on a particular issue. These include coloured shapes that can be built into 'thought-trees' and free workshop plans, making creative engagement available to more people without the need for expensive facilitators.
First devised in 1996 in Southern Africa, Joanne helped villagers in Lesotho work together to plan a better future for their area, and the social aspect remains a key pillar of the business. The supply chain for Ketso is geared towards helping disadvantaged people and makes use of an ethical trading facility in Kolkata, a fair trade workshop in Bangladesh and Paperworks, a sheltered workshop in Leeds.
After joining the University of Manchester in 2000, Joanne developed Ketso in a PhD with the Mersey Basin Campaign, connecting with community members and stakeholders to develop a plan that led to the £1.7 million regeneration of Moston Vale, a former landfill site in Manchester, via the £59 million Newlands programme.
Dr Tippett approached UMIP, the University of Manchester's agent for IP (intellectual property) commercialisation, for ideas on how to move the product forward. She received advice, funding support and has made significant progress in her mission to develop Ketso as a social business. Ketso is now set for further expansion and is looking to grow its sales and marketing team this autumn.
Joanne Tippett, inventor and founder of Ketso, said: “To receive the support of the RTPI North West for Ketso is the culmination of many years of local and international development of this product. I developed Ketso to give participants a voice, and we are finding that it greatly increases creativity and commitment.”
Richard Sullivan, Head of Pay and Rewards at Tesco, praised Ketso for its ability to facilitate collaboration in a practical manner. He said: "Using Ketso is an activity where everyone can contribute. This is the sort of tool that Tesco employees really like to use – hands on, visual and it lets everyone shape the outcomes."
Notes for Editors:
Ketso has over 300 customers and is used in 27 countries, with over 8,000 people at every level from parish councils to national government.
The University of Manchester through its programme delivery team consisting of its Innovation Group, UMI3 Ltd and Manchester Enterprise Centre, MEC, have been recognised for their work in supporting and developing social enterprise innovation at the University by winning the ‘Outstanding HEI Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award’ at the UnLtd National Conference held in London on 17th July.
Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, comments: “The University is committed to maximising the impact of our research and to a strong emphasis upon social responsibility. The excellent achievements of our staff and students fulfil both of these agendas. Particular credit goes to colleagues from UMI3 Ltd and the Manchester Enterprise Centre who provided the encouragement and expertise needed to support the emerging successful social entrepreneurs.”
Over the past 12 months, UnLtd and HEFCE have supported 56 Higher Education Institutions in England to take up the challenge of finding and supporting social entrepreneurs within their institutions. The University’s selection allowed the further development of its social enterprise strategy with the announcement of a Social Enterprise Competition to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs from across the University. This undoubtedly expanded the support and offering to social entrepreneurs as well as developing additional tools and resources whilst growing internal and external networks. Social enterprise was incorporated as a specific theme into the Venture Competitions run by MEC and alongside these competition rounds UMI3 Ltd and MEC developed a programme of intensive support from idea generation and application support to mentor brokerage and specialist support.
On hand to offer advice have been established University of Manchester social entrepreneurs, Dr Gill Green of STORM CIC, a company providing self-harm, suicide and self-injury mitigation training for frontline staff and Joanne Tippett of Ketso Ltd, which produces a ‘hands-on kit’ that provides table-top tools to record and display ideas in meetings and workshops. Ketso is the only documented spin-off company from Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research. The Social Enterprise Brief Case, a workshop and workbook designed by specialist innovation company Novomodo Ltd, to inspire social enterprise thinking in Higher Education was launched at the Innovation Centre. This encouraged participants to think in a deeper and more focused way about their hidden potential as well as providing practical advice to assist with the construction of well rounded applications for the competition.
Dr Laura Etchells, UMIP’s Enterprise and Business Development Manager comments: “It has a been a double success for Manchester today with Helen Power from MBS, receiving runner-up in the most outstanding social entrepreneur category. This reinforces the success of the competitions with over 100 ideas being submitted by entrepreneurial staff, students and recent alumni. In total we have allocated over £59000 to 27 award winners from across the whole University Campus and look forward to helping these budding entrepreneurs continue in their journey to success.”
Dr Martin Henery from MEC and our HEFCE Social Enterprise Ambassador comments: “The potential benefits to students, staff, the University and the wider community in the form of experience and skills development, measurable impact of research, experiential learning opportunities and real social impact has only just been begun to be explored. These awards indicate that we are moving in the right direction and we all look forward to working with our current award winners as well as continuing to uncover more exciting ideas and enterprises in order to really scale up our work and more importantly these valuable social benefits over the next few years.”
Image: Lead The Change UnLtd National Conference, UCL. 17th July 2013
(1-r: Rick Watson, Novomodo; Laura Etchells, UMIP; Martin Henery, MEC; Tony Walker, UMIP; Jim Ineson, Enactus)