The University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union aims to grow its Union as a social enterprise hub, acting as advocates for social enterprise as an educational tool with a positive impact. It has established 4 social enterprises, providing support for innovation. It provides life-changing opportunities, whilst introducing the wider University community to alternative and sustainable business approaches. Honey Company is seeing students set up bee hives on campus. Minte Marketing is an ethical marketing agency established by its student marketing society. Core Blimey Cider is producing cider and juice from sustainable sources with all profit reinvested in to developing student skills and its sports teams. The Cheltenham Chilli Company has gone from strength to strength engaging 30 students on a regular basis; It runs workshops and lectures for students to develop social enterprise ideas. This has reached over 100 students. Three social entrepreneurs have been funded this year including an ethical clothing company and a futsal coaching business.
1 Partnering with your institution from the outset is vital, a collaborative approach, even if it is just supporting the idea, works best
2 Central to our project was creating opportunities for students to enhance their employability
3 The social ethos of social enterprise can help address an issue on campus, improving your environment or encouraging more sustainable behaviours.