University of Winchester helps budding entrepreneurs develop socially responsible businesses

The University of Winchester has awarded £19,000 to students, staff and graduates to start-up and expand businesses that support the local community and vulnerable groups.
Each year, the University invites its entrepreneurs to apply for the ‘Try It’ and ‘Do It’ Enterprise Awards, which are designed to help them make a difference within the community by bringing their business ideas to fruition.
This year, five applicants have won ‘Try It’ Awards of up to £500, along with mentoring, to test out their ideas and develop sustainable business models. Two have been given ‘Do It’ Awards of up to £5,000 to develop their businesses following successful ‘Try It’ projects last year.
“All of this year’s applicants impressed the award panel with their motivation and passion for social change,” said Natalie Norton, Senior Lecturer in Enterprise from the University of Winchester.
This year, winning ideas are all focused on an arts theme ranging from a community pantomime to bring affordable theatre to local families to dance lessons, building children’s confidence and drama workshops for those who have suffered mental illness.
Final year Street Arts student Daniel Newman-Farr, otherwise known as Magic Dan, won a £2,000 ‘Do It’ Award for The Children’s Circus – enhancing community engagement and skills development through circus skills workshops.
“I feel that activities such as circus skills should be accessible to all,” said Daniel. “It is important to open these different experiences and opportunities to our younger generation. Winning this award means I can give something back to the community.”
The ‘Try It’ and ‘Do It’ Award funding is managed by the University, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the social enterprise company UnLtd.
Applications are welcomed from students, staff or recent graduates living in the UK for the duration of the project. Drop in advice sessions are held ahead of the next round of funding being released.

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