Saturday, 29 November 2014

Definition of Social Enterprise

Whilst at the Community Event at the Ambleside campus today we were asked to define 'social enterprise'.

In answering this seemingly 'easy question' we found ourselves debating that Social Enterprise is differently defined across international contexts; changes in definition appear to be dependent upon the diversity in funding policies to non-profit making organisations within different countries. Definitions have been developed by researchers, some of whom are members of EMES, and by governments. (EMES is a research network of established university research centres and individual researchers whose goal has been to gradually build up a corpus of theoretical and empirical knowledge, pluralistic in disciplines and methodologies, around "SE" concepts: social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, social economy and solidarity economy. This began as solely European in nature but is becoming more cross cultural; membership has grown to include researchers in Chile, Russia, Canada, the USA and SEA).

Despite the range of definitions, across publications and research of social enterprises there appears to be some agreement that 'such organisations are at core non-profit making, dependent upon combinations of earned income from trading and various forms of funding to maintain sustainability, are innovative in nature and often entrepreneurial in spirit, and above all are driven by social objectives'.

Our definition is that 'social enterprises are organisations who exist to make a profit which is re-invested into improving communities'. Communities may be geographically based or could be defined in terms of their shared need.

Examples of social enterprises can be found in many communities:   


At the London Early Year’s Foundation (LEYF) the ambition is to create a better future for London’s children by providing high quality community nurseries in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods across the city


In 2011, GiveMeTap was set up. The idea is simple, and changes so many lives. Every stainless steel GiveMeTap bottle you buy funds water projects in Africa and gives you free water refills on the go from over 600 of our partner cafes and shops. We like to think of this as 'Water for you. Water for Everyone'.
As well as creating a positive social impact in the developing world, with 36,000 bottles in circulation, GiveMeTap are reducing the consumption of bottled water

FROM BABIES WITH LOVE illustrates how social enterprises are developed, through spirit, where an entrepreneurial idea can come from personal experience, ethos and ethical values:

Why we began
When I had my son, watching children’s charities’ adverts and reading articles about the hardship children face all around the world, took on new depth of meaning. The tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat made me think harder about how to make a difference. Becoming a parent drove me to do more than feel sorry for these children.
I asked the question, why aren’t charities selling baby clothes and using the profit to fund their work? I couldn’t find a good answer, so I decided to do it myself.
I've always been interested in the role of social enterprise and corporate social responsibility. I thought to myself, if I can buy a beautiful baby product, for great value, with great customer service, plus the profit goes to babies in need (rather than a private owner), why would I buy it anywhere else? The answer is I wouldn’t!
So I set up from babies with love to offer more; beautiful baby clothes plus a heart warming feeling knowing that your purchase is helping other, less fortunate babies, have the fair start in life they deserve.
I hope you enjoy your purchases and the wonderful stories about the difference you are making!

Our promise are not an ordinary company; they are a social enterprise.  They promise to give 100% of profit to charity. Read more about our values, why organic is best and how we minimise our negative environmental impact."

Club Soda

Club Soda has been created to give people the support they need whether they want to cut back on their drinking or to stop all together. The company organises events for people who want to socialise without the expectation to drink, and is working on creating an online service to support its members.

BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leadership

The vision of BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leadership is to capacity-build this entrepreneurial charitable and  voluntary sector in the years to come. The programme is being designed to provide participants with the skills and attributes to become the future leaders of social enterprise organisations. Its mission is to identify young adults who are currently committed to working or volunteering in the social enterprise sector providing a seamless combination of personal development experiences, coaching and mentoring support, training and educational contexts in which they can develop their leadership qualities in terms of self, teams and groups and the workplace.
The programme is unique in that it allows students to gain work based learning from their current experiences for up to 10 + hours per week; the delivery model is distinctive model as it allows students to have a bespoke timetable that fits with the HEFCE criteria of FT status and yet be employed.

For more information on this dynamic and innovative undergraduate award please go to:

Hear about this award and what  current students think about it:

To apply for this course please go to UCAS and use course code: S356

Visit to Kendal on December 4th 2014

Students on the BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leadership award are currently preparing for their next learning activity. A visit to Kendal organised by Common Purpose.  They will enjoy research visits to the National Trust and Lovingly Artisan.

Many of you will know of the National Trust, who probably need no introduction here. For them to open their doors to our students providing a unique insight into how they operate will be a great opportunity. If you do want more information on the National Trust please go to:

As a complete contrast Lovingly Artisan is a local  bread making business set up by Adian Monk.

Many describe Aidan’s approach to artisan bread-making as continental in style with a wholesome northern vibe. Artisan French bread bakers have had a huge influence on his baking recipes, viewpoint and finally his career, which is now heading into its second decade.  

Aidan has always been inspired by good food and finished his education with a scholarship to Boston College of Culinary Arts in the USA.  On his return, he  was determined to open his own artisan bakery which he did in Kendal in the autumn of 1988.  Baking has been in the family for a few generations as his grandfather was a acknowledged baker and retailer. In today's world, many now might call him an entrepreneur. But just like Aidan, he was somebody that simply loved producing bread, serving and feeding hungry boys and girls of all ages within the Cumbria community.

Aidan loves his baker's world with a passion and love’s taking influences from cultures around the world, from locally farmed produce and from the veg grown in his own back garden. Aidan loves pushing parameters where cooking styles are concerned, however time-honoured baking rules are there for a good reason. All that he produces is based on simple bread disciplines - less is more,  slow is best. For more information please see:

Following visits to these very different organisations students will then have the opportunity to share discussions on leadership and personal development with Martin McLeavy, Engineering Manager, BAE Systems; Alison Park, Director, Low Sizergh Farm &Andy Wilkinson, Staff Officer to Chief Constable, Cumbria Constabulary

For more information on this fantastic award please go to

To apply for this programme please go to UCAS and use course code: S356

Students at the University Day in Ambleside

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ambleside Community Day. Saturday 29th November 2014. 11.00 to 15.00 hrs

Come and learn more about the BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leaderhip course at the Ambleside Community Event on Saturday 29th November 2014. There are loads of fun activities for all the family to enjoy. Find out more at:

Address for the event is:

Contact details
The Barn
Rydal Road
LA22 9BB

The Social Enterprise team will be in the Charlotte Mason Building on the ground floor offering some fun activities, and a more serious presentation, about what we do and why we do it that way

For more on our course see


Monday, 3 November 2014

Have you ever tried to live on £15 per week?

Students on the BSc (Hons) Social Enteprise Leadership award are trying out living on £15 per week in order to learn just what it's like. The challenge was presented by staff in the delivery partnership as they work to help students realise the poverty and deprivation which social enteprises and voluntary sector organisations seek to alleviate. Have you taken the £15 challenge yet?

Working out the budget?
For more on this challenging new degree programme  please go to

A day in the life of BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise Leadership

The first university campus based day of this important new award,


was held on October 20th 2014. This blog page tells the story of the day in pictures; the enjoyment, laughter, concentration and learning are all evidenced in these great images.

Apply for this course now to secure your place on the next programme, which starts in September 2015, via UCAS, using course code: S356. You will be invited to a selection event where you will experience a few of the great activities and exercises we have lined up to help your learning.

For more details of this course go to:

Ambleside Open Day: Saturday 8th November 2014

On Saturday 8th November the course team for the BSc (Hons) Social Enterprise programme will be at Ambleside campus as part of the University of Cumbria Open Day. They will be on the ground floor of the Charlotte Mason building from 10.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs ready to answer your questions about the fantastic opportunities this course offers.

You can hear more about this fabulous new course here:
The interesting range of teaching and learning activities which are a part of this programme include lectures, tutorials, action learning sets, visits to social enterprise, public and private sector organisations and work based learning in a host organisation; the host organisation will usually be based in the voluntary sector.
To come and hear more about this programme please come to the Ambleside campus on Saturday 8th November - we look forward to meeting you.
For more information on this programme please look at the course details here: