University of Greenwich to host inaugural Social Enterprise Festival

The University of Greenwich in London is hosting its first Social Enterprise Festival as part of a wider strategy to embed the sector into its academic agenda.

The free festival takes place between 11th and 15th of this month and aims to showcase different aspects of social innovation and social enterprise through a number of workshops, panel discussions and one-to-one mentoring sessions.

Deputy head of the university’s department for Education and Community Studies Hilary Orpin told Pioneers Post: “The changing economic landscape means that graduates are entering into an uncertain market but one that opens up the opportunity to create their own employment.”

She said that her team “identified social enterprise as an ideology to create social change and as a viable employment route for students”.

The festival is being hosted by Greenwich University’s Network for Social Enterprise in Education & Health, which was launched earlier this year at the House of Commons.

During the week activities will include, “workshops on solving education and health challenges through social enterprise, solving social venture sustainability challenges, social investment readiness, creating digital stories and social impact reporting. The week will finish with a ‘Big Social Enterprise Debate’,” explained Orpin.

Participants of the Big Debate include former star of BBC show The Apprentice Melodie Hossaini, CEO of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook and author of The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z Liam Black.

It is intended that the festival will become an annual event in the university’s calendar. Orpin said: “Future aspirations for the department include students gaining work experience and placements within social enterprises, as well as creating their own social enterprises. 

“We hope to provide students with the research skills to do their own market analysis and evaluation of the projects they create. We plan to create a team of student social enterprise mentors who can work with young people to develop social enterprise in disadvantaged communities.”


Pioneers Post is delighted to be media partnering the Greenwich University Social Enterprise Festival between 11th and 15th of May. It is a free event but places are limited so make sure you reserve your place as soon as possible. There are a few places left for two of the main events during the week including, the Big Social Enterprise Debate and the Social Investment Readiness seminar, which will offer delegates a brilliant opportunity to speak directly to investors.

To find out more, click here and to follow the latest Festival announcements on Twitter, check out  and #SEFestival2015.

Photo credit: Bill Bertram