University of Northampton to invest in social ventures

The University of Northampton has launched a new project called BIG22 aimed at supporting business and social enterprise ideas across Northamptonshire and beyond.

BIG22 is an intensive support programme including workshops, one-to-one business mentoring and grant opportunities from a £50,000 pot, all designed to support entrepreneurship.

Wray Irwin, Director of Enterprise and Employability, University of Northampton said: “The University is committed to maximising its social and economic impact through its Changemaker Commitment to enabling businesses can start and grow. Regardless of the type of business, SME, social enterprise, large employer, or third-sector venture, UON has a range of services and support to ensure your business thrives.

“Through BIG22 we will tap into the wealth of ideas of our staff, students and the wider community to tackle social problems and provide training and employment opportunities. If you have the spark of an idea, let us help you fan the flames and make the most of this opportunity.”

Applications are being sought from anyone with an idea for a socially responsible enterprise or running an existing business that you would like to make more socially responsible

Wray Irwin added: “Staff from the University’s Changemaker Incubator as well as external experts will review all applications before determining the level of support needed to help develop the venture further. Applicants will be given the opportunity to attend intensive workshops to help refine their idea before having the chance to pitch for funding to turn their idea into a reality.”

Those who are interested in taking part in BIG22can email BIG22@northampton.ac.uk for further information or an application form. Closing date for applications is Friday 1 April 2022.

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