In March 2014 the Universities worked with Student Hubs to put in a bid to UnLtd to set up a regional network for all social entrepreneurs operating across Oxfordshire irrespective of whether they had a connection with any of the Universities. This bid was successful and Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership (OSEP) was formed in June. OSEP was also successful in a bid for funding from Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The two bids have provided the funding to set up the infrastructure to operate OSEP. This includes a member of staff for a year, funding a programme of workshops and support for participants from both the Universities and the wider community. This is in addition to providing cash Awards to fund small projects, start ups and to scale and grow social enterprises based in Oxfordshire. Find out more about OSEP Awards.
In practice it means that potential or existing social entrepreneurs and innovators based in Oxfordshire will be able, for example, to enrol for the Masterclass programme operating at Oxford Brookes University, participate in the University of Oxford support programme including the Oxford Launchpad, a space where members – students and the wider Oxford entrepreneurial community – can meet to collaborate, create and strengthen ventures, as well as share knowledge, practice and connections. This facility is operated by University of Oxford Saïd Business School through the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. They will also be able to attend events run by Student Hubs.