Saturday, 11 October 2014

Students meet social enterprise founder Laura Willoughby MBE

On Tuesday 7th October students on the BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leadership award met Laura Willoughby MBE after a stimulating talk about her latest entrepreneurial idea 'Club Soda'.

Laura talked about her journey to learn to tackle leadership challenges and said 'good leadership does not happen by accident'. She also argued that social enterprise can be charged for; we are not then dependant on funding bodies to ensure our sustainability. This was an inspiring message and will be really useful knowledge for the students in their second year module 'Developing a Social Enterprise'.

In the picture (l to r) Helen Carter of the Brathay Trust, Laura Willoughby MBE, Joanna Coleman and Andrew Lawson (students) and Caroline Wiscombe, Principal Lecturer Business (and the writer of this blog).

Club Soda is an innovative social enterprise that "wants you to be happier and healthier by helping you change your drinking, whether you want to cut down, stop for a bit, or quit. They will boost your chances of success by giving you tools and apps to track your progress, and nudges when you need help to make better choices about drinking. You can also access the know-how of their trusted experts if you need it".

Caroline is a companion member of the BII, the professional body of the licensed retail sector, who are passionate about supporting social responsibility in the consumption of alcohol. Caroline has been able to put Laura in touch with the CEO of the BII to investigate if they can work closely together to promote Club Soda's mission. I will update you on progress - in the meantime if you know a pub that might be able to host Club Soda's social events [& not completely overcharge for the consumption of soft drinks], particularly if you are in London, please put them in touch with Laura:

Laura kindly gave us permission to use the video of her talk in the course content. If you want to know more about the opportunities provided by the BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leadership please go to

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