First Graduates of School of Social Entrepreneurs
18 February 2010 at 11:58 am
The Sydney-based School for Social Entrepreneurs has delivered its first crop of graduates and admits that, as far as innovation goes, they are not your ordinary group of students.
Some 17 social entrepreneurs graduated from the course armed with impressive and innovative approaches to addressing social needs from setting up a driving school for newly arrived migrants to a project in Mt Druitt to transform a small community food market into a dynamic community enterprise hub.
The ‘students’ range in ages from 20 to 50 years!
The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia is a new Not for Profit venture set up to identify, develop and support social entrepreneurs and raise awareness and understanding of social entrepreneurship.
CEO of the School, Benny Callaghan says the school sees social entrepreneurs as people who recognise social problems and use entrepreneurial principles to organise, create, and manage a venture to affect social change.
Based on the successful SSE in the UK which has been operating for 10 years, SSE Australia runs annual programs to support entrepreneurial individuals to establish sustainable community projects and initiatives.
The SSE Australia is supported by Social Ventures Australia, the School for Social Entrepreneurs UK, and Steve Lawrence (a social entrepreneur and Chief Executive of the Australian Social Innovation Exchange).
The Federal Government has supported the School for Social Entrepreneurs with $1.2 million from its Innovation Fund.
Benny Callaghan says that the graduating students are responsible for employing 36 community members in paid positions and over 189 as volunteers and since their involvement in the School they have attracted over $2.5 million in investment.
He says they have seen amazing results from the students to date with many developing the confidence, networks and skills to make their projects more effective and sustainable.
He says the students have secured funding, developed partnerships and delivered significant social impact in their communities.
The School for Social Entrepreneurs opens in Melbourne in April 2010. The Program involves a combination of weekly group study sessions, one-to-one tutorials, mentoring sessions, project visits and a 3-day residential. Applications close for the SSE 2010 Sydney and Melbourne programs in late February. Bursaries valued at $22,500 are available to cover program costs.
For more information and a full list of SSE student projects, check out their website.