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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Social enterprise summer school gives Southampton students experience of a lifetime

Published: 12 September 2014

Students from across the University of Southampton have had the experience of a lifetime this summer when they got the opportunity to take part in the University’s first social enterprise summer camp in India.

Ten students from economics, geography, aeronautics and astronautics, mechanical engineering, law, marketing and Spanish, chemistry, management, and English spent four weeks working with ten students from India and experienced social entrepreneurs on real business problems.

They were placed with social ventures providing sanitary pads for women in rural communities, affordable roofing solutions and education through mobile-based technology. They were given bespoke challenges such as setting up a crowd-funding platform and designing microfinance solutions.

Programme Director Dr Pathik Pathak , a Lecturer in Sociology and Faculty Director of Social Enterprise at the University of Southampton, said: “This was a transformative experience for our students. They got the chance to work in international teams with students from diverse subjects, engage with award-winning social entrepreneurs and gain an understanding of the context for social enterprise in India.

“Their work during the visit provided invaluable support to three growing social enterprises and helped strengthen our relationship with our partner institution in India, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

“We hope that our students will bring principles from Indian enterprise back into social enterprises and projects they are working on at the University.”

Participant Alex Fishlock, a BSc Management student, said: “I not only got to meet and work with some great people and see how business in India operates, but I also got to see some amazing sights and be exposed to Indian culture.”

As well as working with the social enterprises, the students were also able to experience the beauty of India and understand the heritage and culture of the country.

Students got to support real social ventures in India
Pathik with Spark India students
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