26 June 2012
The Bromley by Bow Centre is delighted to report that the fourth group of students from its BA in Social Enterprise has successfully completed the second year of study. This flagship Social Enterprise degree is made accessible to a diverse range of students thanks to generous funding from Bank of America Merrill Lynch through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
It is an excellent academic programme that leads to a BA in Social Enterprise from the University of East London (UEL). Being a community-based degree it is accessible and rooted in real life. The part-time course is taught by lecturers and tutors from the university with the majority of classes based at the Bromley by Bow Centre.
During their second year of study, students visited Denmark as part of an exchange to see social enterprise from a different perspective and how it works in another country. Students visited various social enterprises in Copenhagen which gave an opportunity to share learning and provide ideas for their UK work. Since starting the degree, many students have begun setting up their own social enterprises or have further developed their social enterprise initiatives.
Studying for the BA has provided students with a better knowledge of the issues that need addressing and has also sharpened their business acumen. The mentoring programme which runs in parallel with the course, harnesses the skills and expertise of Bank of America Merrill Lynch employees, and has benefited the students.
"We are delighted to have supported the Bromley by Bow Centre's BA Degree in Social Enterprise in association with the University of East London. Developing solutions for social and environmental challenges is at the core of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's corporate responsibility strategy. We hope that the graduates will set up successful social enterprises that provide a valuable service to their local communities" said Camilla Fletcher, head of EMEA Philanthropy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Below is a selection of students' success stories as they head towards their final year of study.
Abdi is a team manager at local charity, Tower Hamlets and Newham Mind. He has been instrumental in the push for social enterprise as part of the organisation's delivery and there are current discussions underway for them to have a high street presence at Stratford with a community café, shop and drop in service taking the form of a social enterprise. Since Abdi began the BA social enterprise course, the relationship between the Bromley by Bow Centre and Tower Hamlets and Newham Mind charities has strengthened and there is now potential for further collaboration.
Michelle was a self-starter before she began the course as she was already running a much needed community resource and social enterprise, ELA Training and Therapy Centre. Michelle is driven by a desire to train others and her profits go back into training local people with accredited courses for hair and beauty skills. Her centre is located on a Poplar housing estate which makes it accessible for 'hard to reach' people. The ethos behind the salon is to encourage people to train, especially those who face financial hardship or who have time-management difficulties. Michelle is looking for investment to expand her social enterprise by acquiring additional premises before she completes the BA in Social Enterprise.