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Newsletters > May 2011 > Best Practice: Social Entrepreneurship (SO5)
The Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs (HSSE) is part of a UK national programme which enables social entrepreneurs to establish effective, sustainable community projects and initiatives that meet social end community needs.

Since the first programme in Hampshire in 2009, HSSE has proven to be a very successful programme of personal and project development based on learning-by-doing and ongoing support.


Founded over 10 years ago by serial Social Entrepreneur Michael Young, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) exists to identify, promote and encourage entrepreneurial capacity amongst individuals working for social benefit. The Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs (HSSE) is delivered by Community Action Hampshire, a well-established local charity with an excellent track record in delivering learning.


This exciting and challenging programme brings together people who want to make a change and to learn with and from each other. It is practical, rather than academic, so requires no minimum qualifications – only a good idea and the drive and commitment to make it happen. The students hear honest accounts from people who have already set up organisations themselves as well as from experts in areas such as fundraising and marketing.

The programme includes the following elements:

· Group Study Sessions: consisting of seminars and challenging presentations from people who have set up their own organisations, so have been there and done it.

· Project Visits: to interesting and relevant existing social businesses.

· Tutorials and Mentoring Support: a time for students to discuss progress with their personal tutors and mentors.


The programme is open to everybody embracing people from across society. This diversity within the programme contributes to the exceptional learning impact. Due to the nature of the programme each student goes on to create their own project with resulting beneficiaries


The network of students both in Hampshire and nationwide is a key strength of the programme. The Hampshire students meet one day a week during term time over the year. This builds a wonderful relationship group between people and a strong network of emerging social entrepreneurs within the area. The regularity of the meetings allows students to build quality relationships where they can learn from each other and support each other through the programme. Another key strength is the learning method approach, which is based on Action Learning, which is the preferred method for most social entrepreneurs. This method includes Action Learning Sets and an Intensive Study Residential Block.


Nationally, research carried out by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) found that:

· 85% of all organisations established whilst at the SSE are still in existence

· SSE Fellows' organisations are over one-and-a- half times more likely to be in existence after eight years than a conventional business

· For every 10 Fellows, 30 jobs and 69 volunteering positions are created

· Over 60% of social enterprises reported an increase in turnover after completing the SSE programme: on average, a five-fold increase in turnover

· Over half of those giving financial details reported that 50% or more of their income came from ‘trading' activity

· 88% of individuals on the programme experience a growth in confidence and skills to lead their organisation

· 60% agreed that their confidence continued to rise after leaving the SSE programme

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