King’s College London has recently received a SEE Change Recognition Award from UnLtd and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for its work supporting social entrepreneurs. The awards recognise the achievement of staff, students and graduates in the Higher Education sector in setting up social ventures and supporting social entrepreneurs to thrive.
King’s was praised for its innovative approach, and the variety and multidisciplinary nature of its support. Cross-campus support ranges from taught courses, talks and seminars from leading practitioners, to competitions and the flagship Social Entrepreneurship Initiative – a collaboration between the department of International Development and King’s Business School.
“King’s Business School has a very clear vision to develop business leaders who are both entrepreneurial and socially responsible. Social entrepreneurship is the perfect vehicle to help achieve this vision. It also strengthens the College’s vision of being ‘in service to society’. Winning the SEE Changemaker Award is a real honour and reflects the enthusiasm and excitement about social entrepreneurship at King’s Business School, and our commitment to promoting businesses which are equitable and sustainable.”
Dr Susan Trenholm, King’s Business School
Social Entrepreneurship Initiative
King’s College London’s flagship Social Entrepreneurship Initiative runs throughout the academic year and gives students the opportunity to both learn about Social Entrepreneurship from leading practitioners from around the world, and to develop and pitch their own ideas for social businesses. The most successful teams win prize money which they can use to put their plans into action.
Through a cross-faculty initiative of the Department of International Development and King’s Business School, students are offered the highly dynamic, challenging and interactive extra-curricular Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. The Initiative runs across both academic semesters and students are accepted on a competitive basis. It culminates in a competition judged by an international panel of leading social entrepreneurs.
The highly successful and innovative venture accelerator programme, led by King’s Entrepreneurship Institute, measures success against these key measures: individual skill development, commercial success of the start-ups (determined by revenue growth and investment raised) and social impact. Impact is measured through pre- and post-programme surveys, and spaces on the accelerator are offered to mission-driven businesses. Equally important is using entrepreneurial experiences to develop responsible, resilient young leaders.
This year, six ventures in the venture accelerator programme are positively impacting the world around them. These ideas range from a low-cost childcare service for overworked mothers and a fashion brand improving the livelihoods of small-scale African designers, to an SMS-based logistics marketplace to lower the cost for smallholder farmers taking produce to market in East Africa, to an Artificial Intelligence-enabled application radically reducing the rate of late diagnosis of cancer, potentially improving the chances of 50,000 patients and saving the NHS up to £210 million each year.