University awards 10,000 funding for Socially Responsible Businesses

15th March 2013

The University of Winchester has awarded more than £10,000 in seed funding to a number of staff, students and graduates to start socially responsible businesses. The funding forms part of a £2m pioneering social enterprise initiative funded by the Higher Education Council (HEFCE) and delivered by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

The University offered its students, staff and graduates the chance to apply for ‘Try It’ awards of up to £500 to encourage the development of ideas which could change society for the better. ‘Do It’ awards of up to £5,000 were also available for more fully formed ideas which were seen as having the potential to develop into long-term and sustainable social enterprises. In the first round of the twelve month initiative, after a tough and competitive application process, the University granted two ‘Try It’ awards and five ‘Do It’ awards.

Final year Choreography and Dance student Lucy Fawcett has been awarded a ‘Do It’ award for her company ‘DanceForce’. She aims to set-up co-ordinated military base dance schools, catering for the needs of children who move around within the military community.

“As a military child myself I found it difficult to settle and fit in when moving around,” says Lucy. “I often missed out on opportunities due to catchment areas and moving between terms. Through working with Integr8 Dance and military community development workers, I decided dance might be an ideal tool to help build a sense of belonging across the military community, using a set syllabus across various bases.

“As well as providing funding, the award has offered support and training which has really helped to build my confidence with this project.”

Other successful ‘Try It’ and ‘Do It’ ideas include a mediation service; American football coaching in local schools; ‘digital badges’ for individual achievement; affordable dance lessons; and using applied theatre as an empowerment tool for children.

The deadline for the second round of applications is Friday 8 March 2013. Application forms for staff, students and graduates from the University of Winchester can be found on enterprise@winchester.ac.uk

The University of Winchester currently offers a range of Enterprise modules within its study programmes. For further information see www.winchester.ac.uk.
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