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UCL staff and students score a hat-trick of awards for their social enterprise ideas 

5 April 2011

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No fewer than four UCL representatives – faculty members Sally MacDonald (UCL Collections) and Dominica D’Arcangelo (Inst of Archaeology) and students Marina Chang (Development Planning unit) and Barbara Soetan (Political Science) – have picked up accolades for their work from UnLtd, a charity that focuses on helping social entrepreneurs to develop their projects and achieve a better social impact.

The HE Social Entrepreneurship Catalyst Awards, administered jointly by UnLtd and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), were given to Heritage Without Borders (Sally and Dominica), Foodpaths (Marina) and Admin Solutions (Barbara). The awards, worth £3,000 each, are intended to “develop expertise, skills, knowledge base and business support structures in social entrepreneurship and social enterprise activity.” Besides financial support, the grant also provides mentoring from experienced individuals.

Heritage Without Borders works in developing countries to build capacity in heritage skills; support heritage projects in situations of poverty, conflict and disaster; and provide valuable work experience for students and professionals in the heritage sector. The award will allow HWB to register as a social enterprise and will contribute to its launch and marketing costs. 

Foodpaths is an interactive, collaborative project which works with diverse groups through a range of activities with the common theme of food: growing food and the city; food and cooperatives; food and women; food and health; and food and spirituality. Marina will use the award to set up a community kitchen in an attractive community garden at the Calthorpe Project in the heart of King’s Cross.

Admin Solutions is a service that will help to tackle cost-related administrative task issues, such as bookkeeping and filing, for small business and social enterprises, while helping to provide work for students and unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Barbara will use the money to take her idea beyond concept stage.

Muki Haklay, a UCL Knowledge Transfer Champion and a former recipient of a HESE award for his social enterprise Mapping for Change, says: “What is important about these awards is that they demonstrate that the concept of social entrepreneurship is understood at all levels at UCL. The UnLtd awards will allow these members of the UCL community to develop their ideas further and to turn them to active social enterprises.”

Tim Barnes, Executive Director of UCL Advances, the centre for entrepreneurship at UCL, adds: “Many applications are submitted for these awards, so winning means that Heritage Without Borders, Foodpaths and Admin Solutions were all evaluated as useful enterprises. I hope that the support that they will receive will help them grow rapidly in the coming year.”