Wowser – two Goldsmiths’ projects voted best “profit with purpose”

Two projects from Goldsmiths were yesterday voted the best “profit with purpose” initiatives at the Semi-Finals of the 2018 Santander Entrepreneurship Awards. In ICCE we are very proud that one of those was from Jack O’Donoghue on the MA Social Entrepreneurship (above, third from right).

Santander Bank Universities division have been running their annual Entrepreneurship Awards since 2011, showcasing and rewarding the best new ideas from university students, graduates and staff. The Southern Region Semi-Final was held yesterday in London at the rather sumptuous University of Liverpool’s London campus near Moorgate. Richard Hull went along to lend support to Jack, from the MA Social Entrepreneurship, and also to Rehana Al-Soltane @rehana_makes from Brunel University (above, fourth from right), who was present on behalf of Goldsmiths’ Hadeel Ayoub @HadeelAyoub studying for a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology with @goldcomputing .

Jack @jackod100 was presenting his project ‘Of The Ilk’, which is making and selling an organic cotton-based re-usable food wrapping as an alternative to cling-film. Hadeel and Rehana have developed a ‘smart-glove’, BrightSignGlove which interprets British Sign Language movements and converts them to text.

The Awards were this year grouped into two categories – ‘Tech’ and ‘Non-Tech’ – and 10 projects from each category were selected from approximately 600 entries to compete in the Semi-Finals. Two projects in each category were then yesterday selected by the judges to go forward to the Final in November where they will compete with another eight projects for over £80,000 worth of equity-free seed-funding, mentoring, a week-long accelerator, and a fully-funded intern. But this year, for the first time, there was a special additional award from each category, voted on by attendees, for the best “profit with purpose” project demonstrating social, community or environmental impact, with a potential prize of £7,500 equity-free seed-funding, the accelerator week, and a fully-funded intern.

This year was the first time any projects from Goldsmiths have been submitted, and both of our two entries have succeeded in going forward to the Finals in the “profit with purpose” category. Huge congratulations to them, and we all wish them the very best of luck.


Social Enterprise for the Environment

Richard Hull recently met up with Tom Barrett @tbarrettwrites  a multi-talented Editor of two interesting magazines – Environment Journal and New Start Magazine, the UK’s first magazine devoted to regeneration. They had a really useful and interesting discussion about all things social enterprise and why the UK is such a good place to study it. Tom has now written this up for both magazines. New Start is behind a paywall but you can read the interview for free here on Environment Journal.

Exploring some heresies in social enterprise/innovation/impact

Just to give a plug for this wonderful new project, Kittens Are Evil, from  @benmetz and friends and with some help of former colleagues of mine at Newcastle University Business School

To copy from their About section:

“Saying social enterprise, or social investment, or social innovation are flawed is like saying kittens are evil. It’s heresy!

By prefixing ‘social’ to enterprise, investment and innovation we seemingly obviate any need for a critical analysis of whether or not these enterprises, investments and innovations are social, and therefore, presumably, good.

Indeed, by broadly sidestepping any such enquiry not only do we miss the chance to explore whether they are doing any good, but also whether they are doing any bad!

This is not exactly true. Many excellent thinkers examine and critique these fields. However, their thinking and writing is generally inaccessible (often academic, often little known) and is not aggregated, nor actively promoted to those who have already drunk from the holy grail of all things social…

Kittens are Evil is a small effort to address this, to bring this thinking together, to look long and hard at all things prefixed with ‘social’ through a critical lens, and to shout about it to those with their nose to the social grindstone, trying to do good in the world.

Over the coming months we’ll be posting up some pretty academic, intense and esoteric papers, accompanied by short and accessible summaries. All these papers have one thing in common: to challenge social sector orthodoxy and inspire liberated and alternative approaches to addressing the underlying issues that these ‘social’ sectors purportedly address.

Acknowledgements and thanks to Charlotte Pell, Rob Wilson and Toby Lowe, all at Newcastle University, for the inspiration of their Little Heresies lecture series, the Kittens are Evil book, exploring heresies in public policy and their support in developing this website (including our blatant plagiarising from their original text). Thanks guys!”

Book Launch Wednesday 6pm RHB142

We are very pleased to invite you to join us for the book launch of ‘Social and Solidarity Economy: the World’s economy with a social face’ that brings experiences from different social and solidarity economy initiatives around the world.

This book aims to provide the reader with an insight into the relevance of a section of the economy, which is often referred to as the ‘social and solidarity economy’ (SSE); and highlight some of the current issues in the field, how they are being addressed and some of their future implications. Using case studies from around the world, this book ‘Social and Solidarity Economy: The World’s Economy With a Social Face’ provides an up-to-date account of the strengths and weaknesses of these initiatives across four continents including issues that have not been researched sufficiently before (e.g. circular economy, social propaganda and its dangers, social enterprise as a panacea for NGOs in developing countries, and ‘new’ social movements).

There is growing interest in SSE initiatives among policymakers, foundations, researchers and academic institutions around the world. Despite this interest, SSE related research remains scarce. There are concerned that SSE initiatives, which contribute significantly to their local communities’ development, need to be more widely disseminated amongst the general public. The Social and Solidarity Economy: The World’s Economy With a Social Face will help promote the ground-breaking work being done by organisations and individuals but which remain undocumented and help to raise awareness of such initiatives as well as contribute to academia with a critical approach to the sector covering issues that have not been covered much before, such as the circular economy and the dangers of social propaganda.

Aimed at researchers, academics and policy makers in the fields of Social Enterprise, corporate social responsibility, tourism, International Economics as well as supporting disciplines ‘Social and Solidarity Economy: The World’s Economy With a Social Face’ looks to establish and help define the field.

This event is a chance to learn more about the book and meet the academics involved. It will be a celebration of the book and the authors, with a panel discussion and the presentation of the film feature ‘Memoirs of Solidarity’ that was produced as a result of this research.

Event outline:

  • Welcome from Richard Hull, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Author – Andres Morales (brief introduction to the book and film feature)
  • Reviewers talk about the book (Servane Mouazan, Founder of Ogunte and Richard Hull, Director of MA in Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths)
  • Q&A session

The book can be preordered and please do send in any questions you have for the panel who will do their best to answer them at the event.

Link to the book:

Link to the film feature:


Autumn Open Lectures on Social Enterprise

Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship

Social Enterprise Open Lecture Series Autumn 2017

Admission is Free; Open To All within and beyond Goldsmiths (No need to book)



Room PSH 302, Professor Stuart Hall Building

Goldsmiths, University of London, Lewisham Way, SE14 6NW

Time: Tuesdays (with one exception), 5 – 7pm

 For Directions to ICCE click here


Tues 3rd Oct No speaker today  
Thurs 5th Oct

Room DTH109

Michelle Wright, CEO Cause4 The Journey of a Start Up, and the role of company culture in making the difference between success and failure
Tues 10th Oct Roslyn Scott, Founder, Mobicycle Ltd Mobicycle and E(lectronic) Waste
Tues 17th Oct Alibeth Somers, Nightingale Hammerson Inter-Generational Care
Tues 24th Oct Robert Ashton, Swarm Apprenticeships Becoming the change you want to see
Tues 31st Oct Andrew Curtis, DragonFly Collective The Politics of Social Enterprise
No Guest Lecture in Reading Week, 6th – 10th November
Tues 14th Nov Rhys Pritchard, Restoration Station & Spitalfields Crypt Trust SCT’s social enterprises: A tale of one failure and two successes
Tues 21st Nov June O’Sullivan MBE Be The Best
Tues 28th Nov Kate Welch OBE Title TBA
Tues 5th Dec Ken Banks, Kiwanja.Net Technology-led Social Innovation: Opportunity, Issues and Potential

For Full Details of each of these, please see following pages. Further enquiries to ICCE Department, or to Dr Richard Hull

Thursday 5th October

The journey of a Start Up, and the role of company culture in making the difference between success and failure

Michelle Wright, Chief Executive of Cause4, trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and played the violin professionally. A chartered marketer, manager and fundraiser, Michelle set up B-Corporation and social enterprise Cause4 in May 2009 and since has undertaken major strategic and business development projects, including campaign developments with a number of national charities and consultancy work for FTSE 100 brands developing their cultural sponsorship programmes. Michelle also specialises in philanthropy, having recently developed a number of major philanthropy projects for charities and corporates, and having set up new philanthropic foundations for sports stars, artists and entrepreneurs.

In 2014 Michelle was awarded the IWEC award for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement, and represented the UK as a National Champion for Entrepreneur of the Year in the European Business Awards. In 2015 she was recommended to the Maserati 100 list for Entrepreneurs that ‘give back’ and was voted by Salt Magazine as one of the top five compassionate business leaders in the UK, alongside leaders such as Richard Branson. She won the Gold Award for Women of the Year at the San Francisco International Women in Business Awards in 2016 and was awarded the Freedom of the City of London by the Guild of Entrepreneurs in 2016.

Tuesday 10th October

Mobicycle and E(lectronic) Waste

E(lectronic) waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream. Roslyn founded MobiCycle Ltd to empower consumers and organisations to reuse, repair and recycle electronics while completing her MSc in Major Programme Management. Her postmodern dissertation explores how billion pound major programme managers can prioritise locally derived social and environmental benefits over time and cost overruns. Her dissertation also recommends authentic partnerships with local communities operating at the grassroots level.

As a for-profit social enterprise based in London, MobiCycle employs a few tools to launch the business. In this talk, Roslyn will explain how MobiCycle regularly solicits input from actors across the public, for profit and third sectors to paint a bigger picture. For example, journey mapping elucidates the shadowy areas within the circular economy. In these places, we see flytipping, the incineration of plastics, the landfilling of precious minerals and illegal overseas shipments. Mapping the problem is the beginning.

The challenges around creating a sustainable business model plague many if not most social entrepreneurs. Over five years, Roslyn learned how to build a product portfolio that melds cutting edge technology with behaviour change. She constantly asks: how can an entrepreneur maximise income generation while staying true to the core mission? She will share how and when to approach investors or apply for government funding. Finally, Roslyn will discuss some tips on how to leverage technology for non-technical founders.

Tuesday 17th October

Inter-Generational Care

Dr Alibeth Somers, Director of Evaluation and Impact, Nightingale Hammerson & Co-Founder and Director of Apples and Honey Nightingale CIC. Ali began her career in social enterprise as Director of Policy and Development for Social Enterprise London. She then went on to develop an expertise in social impact measurement. Ali was the first Course Director for the MA in Social Entrepreneurship here at ICCE. When taking an extended maternity leave, Ali was approached by her friend Judith Ish-Horowicz, MBE to set up a nursery in a care home. The nursery, Apples and Honey Nightingale CIC, opened in September, and is the UK’s first nursery co-located within an elderly care home with daily intergenerational activities.

Ali is coming to speak to us about the trials, tribulations, tears, and happiness that derived from her three year adventure in setting up this new social enterprise.

Tuesday 24th October

Becoming the change you want to see

Robert Ashton failed his 11+ exam in 1966 and only decades later realised his problem was that he was rather bright, not stupid as he’d been told at school. He’s now a member of Mensa, the High IQ Society.

He left a corporate sales and marketing career in 1990 to find his own way in the world. Since then he’s started and sold businesses, written 19 books and sparked the formation of what is now the UK’s top performing Community Foundation. He’s helped countless social enterprises get off the ground, often asking difficult questions of politicians to win the support needed to enable positive social change. He’s led a successful asset transfer, created an urban community land trust. In 2013, founded Swarm Apprenticeships, a social enterprise that uses enterprise qualifications to empower bright young people who fall through the education net as he did 50 years ago.

Robert will tell his story and explain why he thinks now is the perfect time to start a social enterprise.


Tuesday 31st October

The Politics of Social Enterprise

Andrew Curtis is a co-founder and Director of The Dragonfly Collective (Melbourne and UK). Andrew has supported some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in Australia and the UK through executive leadership, Board membership, academic research and lecturing, project design and hands-on service delivery. An original member of the Social Entrepreneurs Network in Australia Andrew has consulted to both government and a range of social enterprises – from the very large to the very small. Andrew has a PhD in hermeneutics and an MBA – combining critical thinking with business models and practice. Intrigued by the campaigns around social enterprise in the UK and the lack of a clear definition, this seminar will focus on the politics of social enterprise and how social enterprise can be co-opted by numerous causes.

No Guest Lecture in Reading Week, 6th – 10th November

Tuesday 14th November

SCT’s social enterprises: A tale of one failure and two successes

Rhys Pritchard is the manager of Restoration Station, established by Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT). For over 50 years SCT has been supporting people recovering from addiction and homelessness by helping them to get clean and sober, develop self-respect and hope for a much better future. They also run a number of social enterprises that provide a supportive training ground for those in the later stages of recovery and rehabilitation. With profits going straight back into their work, they allow SCT to support more people recovering from addiction. Restoration Station is a vintage furniture shop with a difference. Giving a new life to antique and mid-century furniture provides skills and work experience for people in recovery, it was recently featured in London Design Week and visited by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. At the Paper & Cup coffee shop, trainees learn how to become baristas, serve customers, work in a team and manage a small cafe. Former trainees have gone onto find other work or training. For example, some have the chance to go onto an award-winning apprenticeship scheme with SCT’s partner, Pret a Manger, with a guaranteed full-time job at the end.

Tuesday 21st November

Social Enterprises Must Be The Best

June O’Sullivan, MBE is CEO of London Early Years Foundation, one of the UK’s largest charitable childcare social enterprises. LEYF has 350 staff across 37 community nurseries in 11 key London boroughs, a thriving apprenticeship programme, and it was awarded Nursery of the Year for 2015 for the second year in a row. LEYF recently opened a new nursery in New Cross. June is a regular speaker on social enterprise and will be showing why social enterprises cannot just rely on consumers’ preference for ‘buying social’ and must instead strive to make a better offer than their ‘non-social’ competitors.

Tuesday 28th November

Title TBA

Kate is a serial social entrepreneur who is now working full time in Social Enterprise Acumen CIC to achieve the vision of creating enterprising communities in North East England and across the world. She is passionate about creating an ecosystem in which social entrepreneurs and social enterprises can thrive. As well as inspiring social entrepreneurs through her work with Social Enterprise Acumen CIC she is also a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation, a Director of Communities Together Durham, Director/Trustee of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) and a Non-Executive Director of the North East Social Investment Company. Kate was awarded the OBE in 2008 for services to social enterprise in North East England and in 2016 she was the winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.

Tuesday 5th Decemnber

Technology-led Social Innovation: Opportunity, Issues and Potential

Ken Banks, Founder of and creator of messaging platform FrontlineSMS, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty-five years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. In 2013 he was nominated for the TED Prize, and in 2015 was a Visiting Fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. In late 2015 Ken was appointed CARE International’s first Entrepreneur in Residence. He is also a published author, with his first edited book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, self-published in late 2013 with a follow-up, published by Kogan Page, released in March 2016. In this talk, Ken will talk about the challenges of social innovation and international development, and how innovation happens ‘in the wild’ vs. in more controlled environments.

Open:2017 Platform Cooperatives


The 17th century philosopher Spinoza, writing at a time of immense political and religious turbulence, believed that one of the most important political sentiments is hope (so Barack Obama was ploughing a well-worn furrow). As individuals we are relatively weak compared to the cumulative powers of others, but Spinoza said that when we come together through “a common hope” we are strengthened. In these current turbulent times the need to come together has never been more evident.

This is why I am delighted that the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths is hosting a major conference on cooperation and the collaborative economy, Open:2017 Platform Cooperatives on the 16th -17th February here at Goldsmiths (a few tickets are still available here).

We are hosting this conference because, as a department we champion new approaches to the organisation of economic activity: new business models; new sources of finance; and the consequent need for new forms of organisation and management. In this vein we have, for the last five years, run the MA in Social Entrepreneurship with a highly inclusive remit. Indeed, the Social Enterprise field is so varied that it is small wonder that some commentators feel impelled to talk about it as a zoo.

For us here in ICCE, that zoo very definitely includes cooperatives and we look forward to hearing how platform cooperatives offer a genuine sharing economy alternative to the likes of Uber, AirBnB, other recent forms of platform capitalism and the ‘super-firms’ dominating the global economic landscape and exacerbating global inequality.

Richard Hull, Programme Director, MA Social Entrepreneurship

Social Enterprise: Which compromises will you make to reach your goals?

Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship

Social Enterprise Lecture Series Autumn 2016

Tuesday 6th December 5.30 (not 5) – 7pm 

Admission is Free; Open To All within and beyond Goldsmiths (No need to book) 

Ray Barron-Woolford

Social Enterprise: Which compromises – political, social, economic – will you make to reach your goals?


Ray Barron-Woolford is a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, author (best known for Food Bank Britain), broadcaster (Talk Radio Europe), campaigner and activist in People Before Profit. He has experience in establishing and running three very different social enterprises. Ray has won several awards including the Pink Paper’s award for the Best UK LGBT Business of the Year, the London Chamber of Commerce’s awards for the Best London Business for Innovation, the best London Business for Customer Service, and was a finalist for the London Business Person of the Year award, and he won the Greenwich Council’s award for Best Greenwich Business for Enterprise. He has also received a medal from the Russian government for his work on Deptford’s heritage

Today’s talk will focus on the possibility of working out a reliable model for social enterprise based on my day-to-day practice and experience of success and failure.


Room PSH 326, Professor Stuart Hall Building (Opposite ICCE Office)

Goldsmiths, University of London, Lewisham Way, SE14 6NW

For Directions to ICCE click here

Click for a list of all this Autumn’s speakers

Further enquiries to ICCE Department,

or to Dr Richard Hull