Young Social Entrepreneurs Thrive thanks to support
Potential social entrepreneurs are being given the advice and guidance needed to help them get their social enterprise ideas off the ground by the University of Central Lancashire. Specialist mentoring has seen a large rise in the number of social enterprises emerging from Lancashire graduates, and with growing support from the University and the sector as a whole this looks set to continue...
Chrisanthi Giotis SocialEnterpriseLive.com
More than one in ten of the graduates given start-up support from the University of Central Lancashire are now social entrepreneurs.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Knowledge Transfer Department, which supports the university's students and graduates to start their own enterprises, is celebrating the release of figures last week that show 11 per cent of UCLan graduate start-up businesses are social enterprises. Just five per cent of UK businesses overall are social enterprises.
UCLan's director of knowledge transfer Bede Mullen said: 'The figure shows that UCLan is actively supporting the social enterprise sector.'
'We have some fantastic social enterprises that are contributing greatly to the social and economic regeneration of not just Preston or Lancashire, but of the north west.'
Last year UCLan's Knowledge Transfer Department helped 126 graduates or students with start-up business support and its team includes two social enterprise mentors.
'Four years ago we started getting more and more requests from students and graduates saying they were interested in starting a social enterprise,' said Mullen.
'As part of our programme of support we identify right at the start what route they would like to go down, is it a general business or is there a social enterprise angle?'
'The fact we have so many social enterprises is due to the mentoring we provide to our students and graduates. Many of them have the idea but they just need help in what they want the business to achieve.'
Mullen said many young students and graduates wanted to give back to the community.
'What we are doing at UCLan is quite innovative and our students and graduates are reaping the benefits in being able to make informed decisions about their business ideas.'
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