Receive funding and support to start your own social enterprise in Oxford
Applications are now open!
In and around Oxford
Try It Awards now closed!
We are no longer accepting applications Try It Awards. If you would like to apply next year, please contact Harry.
Discretionary Pot now closed!
The discretionary pot is designed for current social enterprises to apply to. You can apply for a slightly larger grant if you have already set up a project and need some funding to help it grow and become more sustainable. We are no longer receiving applications. If you would like to apply in the future, please contact Harry.
Do you have an idea for a social enterprise?
Oxford Hub's Social Enterprise Support Programme is designed to help students and university staff to develop a vague idea for a project or launch a fully fledged social enterprise. The programme consists of support and guidance combined with financial grants to help test your ideas and grow your ventures.
Since the social enterprise support programme began in 2013, 34 students have been financially supported to establish a range of ventures, from a community cafe to a soap recycling enterprise.
Funding for your social enterprise
Two different types of financial awards are available through the programme: Try It Award of up to £500 and Do It Award of up to £5000.
Try It Awards are designed for small scale projects and enable social entrepreneurs to investigate or develop a social venture idea e.g run a pilot programme or undertake some market research.
Do It Awards are designed to provide a cash injection for demonstrably viable projects, allowing them to develop their service or product and become fully sustainable. This year, applicants willl be required to provide a reference from a local partner in order to be considered for a Do It award.*
We also offer one-to-one advice and guidance on all things social enterprise. If you have any questions or need some advice, please get in touch with Harry.
*We will consider independent projects in some circumstances.
An Oxford-based approach
This year we have decided to focus the programme on tackling social and environmental challenges here in Oxford.
Applicants will be invited to apply for a Try It Award in Michaelmas term to pilot a new project or carry out detailed market research into solutions to local issues. In Hilary term, we will support participants to partner with a local organisation (both profit and non-profit) and develop a joint venture.
Participants will then be invited to apply for a Do It Award to launch their new venture.
As part of the programme, participants will have access to mentoring, events and training from OSEP and OBSEA.
What is a social entreprise?
“A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives, whose surpluses are principally reinvested for the purpose in the business or in the community.” UnLtd
Check out UnLtd's Social Entrepreneurship Awards Toolkit here.
The Skoll Centre: advancing social innovation to transform unjust systems
The Skoll Centre, based in the Launchpad at Saïd Business School, offers numerous learning and networking opportunities for those who care about tackling pressing social and environmental challenges. Find out how you can get involved with the Skoll Centre’s programmes by signing up to their weekly newsletter.