Got an idea for a business with a social conscience? Warwick is a pioneering partner working with HEFCE and the charity UnLtd to develop and grow social entrepreneurship. We have £47,000 to fund initiatives, so if you or a small team have an exciting idea for a social enterprise why not apply for funding? You have until Friday 8 March to submit your ideas for the 2nd round of Awards. The awards are open to students, staff members or those who have graduated from Warwick in the past 12 months.
How to apply
2013 Award winners - first round
Paul Lam, a member of staff in the Postgraduate Admissions department, is aiming to launch the Coventry Chess Academy, for primary school-aged children in the city. Paul, who has been playing chess competitively since childhood decided to use his love of the game to try and engage with young people and develop their interest in chess. Paul’s award will allow him to gain additional training and business support, buy equipment and hire a venue to host his new club.
I believe that chess has the potential to be a catalyst for social change by providing children with the skills and qualities - such as logical thinking, patience, creativity, concentration, self-confidence and respect for others - to empower them in and outside the classroom. The skills I learnt from chess have proved invaluable throughout my life; in the classroom, at university and at work. Now I want to use my skills and experience to ensure that those who are most in need can benefit from all of this.
It is my hope that the Coventry Chess Academy will become a place where children can grow as individuals and as part of a community; a place where we create social change and empower children to deliver change themselves; a place where children enter as pawns and emerge as kings."
Joey Saelens and Katharina Graf have been involved in the Food Co-op, helping to develop the venture with fellow members of the People and Planet society in the Students’ Union. This exciting project aims to provide people with cheap, healthy and ethical food. Products include fruit and vegetable boxes, and dried foods such as nuts, cereals, rice and pulses. By offering an alternative space to buy food, the Co-op want to raise awareness and promote debate about modes of production and consumption that are more environmentally friendly and respond to social issues. The Food Co-op currently runs a stall every Tuesday from 12-5pm in the SU Atrium. This award will help them to sustain and develop their business so that they can extend their opening times, their online presence and their pool of volunteers.
Harry Padiachy, a final-year undergraduate student, is developing a social enterprise project to help encourage the composting of food waste. Harry's venture looks at how we can use new products to reduce the composting process from months to weeks and help to eliminate many of the unpleasant odours generated during composting. His award will support product development, market research and testing, and allow him to further develop partnerships with interested organisations. Future profits will be set aside for on-going charitable activities on campus and in the local area.
This project is a fantastic opportunity to channel my experience into something constructive for the community.
Richard Groves, recently appointed as Enterprise Development Officer in Student Careers and Skills, said:
We are delighted to support these social enterprise projects and encourage both students and staff to give their innovative ideas a go. I hope that other members of the University community will see these stories and be inspired to become social entrepreneurs themselves.