Date of release: Friday, September 11, 2015

social enterprise redefining business

In 2014 it was estimated that there are now over 70,000 social enterprise organisation within the UK (Reinventing the board room). This total is still rising and with good reason too.
Ellie Ward from Pioneer Post writes, "Momentum around higher education on social entrepreneurship is something of a global phenomenon" Students are demanding more exposure around the subject in their learning and development of business related studies." The University of Greenwich has responded with the rise in social enterprises and integrated this in its teaching.

A social enterprise is a business which trades to tackle social problems, improve communities, people's life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but reinvest profits back into the business or community. With its beneficial aims to stakeholders, it's clear why the popularity around this type of business subject has been so significant.

Students can now study programmes with a strong emphasis on social enterprise. For example, an Executive MBA can now be tailored around the subject. Programme leader Paul Stoneman says, "The endorsement routes allow students to tailor their learning to a specific sector. Along with financial services, public services and maritime sectors, social enterprise has now been added to our specialism areas for the MBA."

A great example of a successful social enterprise is Pink Tours launched by Diego Jenzer a current student at Greenwich studying BA Hons International Business. Pink Tours isn't your typical tour guide company. After years working directly with customers, Diego identified a lack of services being offered to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) market. But it wasn't only about business, it was about creating something that would change people's lives.

Set up after winning the University of Greenwich Social Enterprise Challenge 2015, Diego's business profits are donated to social causes which support the local area.  While studying at the University of Greenwich students have the opportunity to pitch and present their own business ideas at the Social Enterprise Challenge.  Do you think your social enterprise idea will be a success?

Current students can take part in the Social Enterprise Challenge 2016, applications are open now.