National awards for Oxford Brookes' social entrepreneurship and innovation programme

Wednesday, 05 July 2017

OBSEA team

Oxford Brookes University has been recognised for its outstanding work in supporting and developing social enterprise, and social enterprise education, by winning two national awards at the annual SEE Change Social Entrepreneurship Conference at Wolfson College, Oxford.

The event (Wednesday 28 June) was jointly hosted by Oxford Brookes and University of Oxford and for around 70 guests, with workshops presented by both partners and university contacts from across the UK and the world.

The foundation for social entrepreneurs, UnLtd, and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), judged and presented the national awards in eight separate categories.

Oxford Brookes won the Higher Education Institution (HEI) Recognition Award for Innovation in Partnership and Ecosystem Development, for work in social innovation and developing partnerships at regional, national and international levels. In addition, Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Award (OBSEA)  Programme Co-ordinator, Jeff Willmore, won an individual award for Outstanding Achievement.

Feedback shows that the OBSEA programme enriches the student experience by combining enterprise with social impact to support student employability.

Jeff Willmore, OBSEA Programme Co-ordinator, Oxford Brookes University

Commented Jeff Willmore: “I’m delighted and want to thank the whole OBSEA team for their outstanding individual contributions. Our OBSEA programme is now five years young and this award reflects our commitment to providing a truly innovative and collaborative approach to learning opportunities for our participants. We’re thinking locally, regionally and globally in our collaborations and impact.  

“Feedback shows that the OBSEA programme enriches the student experience by combining enterprise with social impact to support student employability. As our students, staff and recent graduates take their personal journey through the OBSEA programme they develop new career-oriented skills, while creating positive social and environmental benefits.”  

Social entrepreneurship is about using proven business techniques and approaches to address social and environmental problems and where profit is used to help to solve the issues.  

OBSEA participants can develop their individual journey in social enterprise or social innovation, or undertake a volunteer placement in a social enterprise. The programme includes comprehensive training and skills development, alongside 1:1 mentoring and competitive cash awards to help projects develop. OBSEA helps boost employability and can help individuals discover a new career path that ensures they live a life of consequence.

The OBSEA programme aligns closely with the Brookes Guiding Principles of Confidence, Enterprising Creativity, Generosity of Spirit and Connectedness.

You can find out more about OBSEA via the website. A video about OBSEA can also be viewed below.

Image: Back L-R: Taylor Samuel- Beechey, Samia Kamal, David Hartley,  Alison Honour,  Jonathan Louw, Front L-R: Fee Chandler, Jeff Willmore, Clelia Bevillard, Harry Jenkins.