What is the Start-Up Success Social?

It’s a bespoke learning programme designed to help people who are new or relatively new to social enterprise and social entrepreneurship to develop their business idea. It helps you to identify the key elements that will ensure that your proposed venture is financially viable and effectively addresses a specific social or environmental issue in a sustainable way. The scheme consists of a number of elements which involve an initial 1 to 1 assessment of your learning needs, group sessions with other social entrepreneurs to develop action plans alongside formal learning sessions which are designed to equip you with basic knowledge you will need to get started.

Are there any entry requirements?

There are no formal entry requirements and although the scheme is being delivered by OSEP which includes both Oxford Brookes University and University of Oxford, the scheme is not restricted to University based projects. Start-Up Success Social is aimed at anyone who is committed to social enterprise across Oxfordshire regardless of their background or previous education or experience. You simply have to complete an application form and be able to demonstrate that you are likely to benefit from attending the scheme and as a result set up or develop an existing social enterprise in order to get it fully established.

When does it start / finish?

The Start-Up Success Social scheme will start in early February, though as a flexible learning programme additional participants can join later in the month providing there are places still available. The full programme will run throughout the Spring and early Summer and finish by the end of July but as it bespoke there really is no set start and finish time.

How does it work?

Following your initial enquiry OSEP will contact you to assess whether this scheme is right for you. We will complete an initial assessment and check that you are eligible and likely to benefit from this programme. You will then be asked to complete a formal application form along with other documents that we need for monitoring purposes. Once these are completed you will be assigned a mentor who will work with you to develop and agree your individual learning programme from a menu of options that are available.

You also agree to attend a minimum number of “Action Learning Set” sessions. There are three of these spread throughout the programme and they are run as group sessions and are designed to help you develop and refine your business action plan. You will be supported by your colleagues and several of OSEP’s trained staff. You will also be expected to attend a number of specialist Masterclasses - many of which are combined with the award winning Oxford Brookes University social enterprise development programme - these are knowledge based learning sessions on specialist topics and run by established local social entrepreneurs. Finally you must attend a final action planning 1 to 1 session which will set out the next steps on your journey as a social entrepreneur.

What are the minimum requirements in terms of my time?

Most of the sessions are run in the early evening during the week. Times and locations vary. You are required to attend a minimum of 16 hours of contact time but you can take part in more than this if you wish to. In total there are over 60 hours of contact time / sessions available. There is no formal assessment and there are no assignments or examinations. Many of the Masterclass sessions are video recorded and are available on-line along with study worksheets so it’s easy to catch up if you miss a session. You do need to complete the minimum agreed 16 learning hours.

Do I get a qualification at the end of the programme?

There is no formal qualification associated with this programme but OSEP will issue everyone who completes their agreed learning programme with a certificate of attendance and completion.

How much does it cost?

It’s free to everyone accepted onto the Start-Up Success Social scheme.

I am looking to go into business with some other people - can we all enrol?

There are 15 places available for this scheme and it is possible for more than one person from a particular social enterprise to attend subject to availability.

I am interested what do I do next?

As our most recent FREE scheme was completed in August 2016, while we are awaiting the funding necessary to offer our next opportunity, we will be taking names and contact information of people who would be interested in attending a future scheme. If you are interested, please email us at info@osep.org.uk or call us at 01865 484380.