News /

ImpactU New Social Venture Showcase

A person showing two other people something on a tablet

Twelve leading English universities have come together to create an online showcase of their social venture start-ups, raising awareness of a new brand of mission-driven businesses founded by students and researchers across their campuses.

ImpactU is a social venture collaboration driven by the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Northampton, Coventry and the eight universities comprising the MICRA Project (Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick). Oxford University Innovation leads the consortium. The newly-launched website gives visibility to this growing movement of mission-driven “social ventures” by spotlighting the work of the research teams and spinout companies who are doing business differently.

The companies showcased by the ImpactU universities are social enterprises, built to bring change, to people and places, by accelerating projects to address pressing societal challenges, whether through deep embedded action in local communities or more globally. For universities committed to advancing new solutions for societal challenges, social entrepreneurship is an apt tool to unlock and secure lasting social impact from the expertise and innovations created within their campuses. Social venture spinouts are legally committed to create this change in line with the vision and mission of their founders to deliver their solution where it is needed most.

Take MoMa’s Cookies, a vegan cookie business that helps the community by donating a percentage of sales to local charitable organisations. Their aim is to work with the local community in raising funds and raising the profile of local charities through social media campaigns.

Social ventures from across the consortium are supporting people out of homelessness, engaging employees in sustainability actions to hold them to account on their social goals, and promoting racial equality through arts and heritage. The ImpactU universities are committed to providing opportunities and pathways for university start-up founders to make their ideas a reality – contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the process.

An example of the drive to address unmet needs is perfectly encapsulated in Hope For The Community CIC. 15 million people in the UK live with a long-term health condition. Co-created with users and based on 25+ years of scientific evidence, this award-winning social enterprise provides tools and services to support people living with long-term conditions and rare diseases, and their carers. Commissioned by the NHS, Macmillan Cancer Support, Carers Trust, Shaw Trust and others, 17,275 people have so far been empowered to manage their wellbeing and flourish.

Together, ImpactU represents a new network that provides expertise and guidance as well as building investment communities for the ventures we support. The ImpactU consortium are passionate about the role of universities in social innovation and committed to working with partners from government to researchers, investors to corporate sponsors, bringing the resources our founders need to produce game-changing impacts for our collective social good.

Please browse our showcase and get in touch if you are interested in working with us!

Recent News

ImpactU Training Launch

Calling all UK students and academics! Embark on a journey of social entrepreneurship with our interactive kick off session for a high level overview of social ventures and why you might want to consider starting one.

Read More »

We are hiring!

We now have a unique opportunity for a dynamic and motivated Investment Associate to join our team at Oxford University Innovation.

Read More »

ImpactU Connecting Capability Funding 

A potent consortium of academic institutions, spearheaded by Oxford University Innovation (OUI), has secured a £1.5m bid titled “Seed Funding, Training, and Support for Social Ventures”, which will fortify and amplify the trajectory of university social ventures.

Read More »