The idea of social enterprise (not just about the private sector) highlighted in Times Higher Education:
The idea of community-sourced projects replacing top-down public-service provision is in tune with the government’s intention of building a Big(ger) Society. Student Hubs, an independent charity, has been working in higher education for the past five years to transform student volunteering and social action. In seven universities across the South of England, our “hubs” carry out many community-facing functions, from managing volunteers and hosting conferences on social and environmental issues to supporting student-led ethical campaigns and projects. We also provide a programme that helps graduates find social-change careers.
Although this work is supported in part by universities, our main sources of funding are corporate sponsors, trusts, foundations and, crucially, the social enterprise model of self-generated income. In Oxford, we have opened a £1 million centre for student social change that generates income by renting out office and events space and by running a cafe/bar/restaurant that serves locally sourced food to students and locals alike. In this way, it promotes community interaction while providing sustainable funding for our work.
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