Our News

26 September 2013

Cardiff and Vale College working with regional FE colleges to support budding social entrepreneurs

Cardiff and Vale College is to co-ordinate a new dynamic support programme for budding social entrepreneurs. CAVC will work with Further Education colleges throughout south east Wales and UnLtd to deliver FE Pioneers – a unique model that invests directly in students.

This investment takes the form of a complete package of resources from Awards to funding, ongoing advice and practical support.

FE Colleges are a breeding ground for budding student social entrepreneurs and provide a platform for students to develop social ventures which are firmly rooted in delivering positive social change.

The aim of the FE Pioneers programme is to provide a catalyst for the development of social entrepreneurship activity and raise the profile and benefits to society of social entrepreneurship in the FE sector.

Learning by doing, taking risk, and exploring the impacts on society are key objectives where students will pitch their ideas to a panel who will seek to invest in their social venture.

Amanda Everson, Award Manager for Wales at UnLtd said: “This is a huge and unique opportunity for colleges to support students across south east Wales. The programme aims to develop youth led socially driven initiatives that not only have a positive impact in communities but enhances learning and development and creates potential future careers for young people.

“Institutions through the Enterprise Hub also have the benefit of demonstrating partnership working in a wider context, developing greater understanding of social entrepreneurship among staff and influencing further professional growth.”

Co-ordinated through CAVC via the Regional Entrepreneurship Hub, college students from all over South East Wales, will have the opportunity to access financial support through an awards programme; Try It!, Do It and Build It. Students can apply on an individual basis or as part of a group and there programme is targeted at young entrepreneurs under the age of 21.


Successful students will be offered ‘hard cash’ – from £500 to £15,000 - to support their ideas and a wide range of opportunities to gain advice and guidance from an eco-system of support ranging from the “Big Ideas Wales” business Role Models, social entrepreneurs, community leaders, other award winners across the region and college staff.

This eco system will encourage self-belief and positive thinking, inspire and motivate students to realise they are in control of their future, educate about the reality of being their own boss:- highs, lows, risks and rewards, draw out entrepreneurial characteristics and stimulate entrepreneurial behaviour and thinking in students. Students will also be offered advice and guidance from their allocated Enterprise Leader at their College to take their venture forward.

Wayne Carter, Social Engagement Manager at Cardiff and Vale College, said: "We recognise the latent talent that exists in young people and the communities where they live. The programme will not only support students but their wider community. We are keen to involve as many community partners in this initiative as possible to ensure that the social needs are being clearly identified, challenged and through genuine engagement and collaboration ‘real’ change can be achieved."

Cardiff and Vale College will embed the FE Pioneers scheme into its work as a Gazelle College. The College is one of just 20 colleges in the UK and the only one in Wales to be in the Gazelle Group, an innovative group of colleges that are developing ground breaking ways of learning - harnessing top business people and creating opportunities for a broader learning experience for all learners.

The results are already clear – learners not only leave college skilled in their chosen subject, but as employable, adaptable and entrepreneurial individuals.