Social Entrepreneur project recognised at Guardian University Awards

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Guardian University Awards 2014

From Passion to Action, the Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Awards (OBSEA) programme, has received a runner-up accolade in the Guardian University Awards’ Enhancing Student Experience category.

The Guardian’s national awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding innovation, creativity and impact of UK universities in delivering world-class teaching, research and engagement.

OBSEA Programme Lead Roberto Daniele was pleased with the results, commenting: “Enhancing student experience is at the heart of this university and being shortlisted is a wonderful endorsement of our work - particularly in the light of such fierce nationwide competition.

“OBSEA supports student employability through careers skills development and perhaps most importantly, encourages staff and students to live a life of consequence, engaging with their communities to bring a positive social benefit. Interestingly, over half of our OBSEA participants report that the support they receive on this programme is more important to them than the project funding.”

OBSEA Programme Coordinator, Jeff Willmore, added: "We are thrilled to have been runners up against some great projects and it’s a great credit to everyone involved, particularly the OBSEA team and not least our staff, students and recent graduates who have participated in the programme.

“We are hugely grateful to our partners, UnLtd, for their constant support and funding, Santander for their help with funding some of the awards this year and to Student Hubs for their work in helping us to deliver the programme.

“We have exciting plans for the near future and hope to take this initiative outside the university to the wider community."

The OBSEA programme launched in September 2012 and has proved to be very popular amongst students, staff and recent graduates, involving more than 300 participants. It has been heralded a success both as a key learning tool to enhance student employability, but also as a vehicle for promoting social entrepreneurship locally and within the UK.

In total, the OBSEA programme has funded Try It Awards (up to £500), Do It Awards (up to £5,000) and Build It Awards (up to £15,000) to a total value of around £77,000.  For 2014-15 OBSEA will be looking to engage a wider audience, step up its one-to-one mentoring programme and forge stronger links with social enterprise in and around Oxford and the region.

More information can be found on the OBSEA webpages. The Guardian’s profile of the project is available to view online.