About us

We equip people to transform their communities and improve the lives of others

We can’t fix issues like poverty, climate change and ill-health alone. That’s why the School for Social Entrepreneurs exists.

We help 1,000 people a year develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems. We run courses that equip people to start, scale and strengthen organisations that make a positive difference. But we’re not a traditional school. Learning with SSE is inspiring, action-based and accessible. We support people in others ways too, such as funding and mentoring.

Lord Michael Young founded SSE in 1997, and we’ve grown to a network of schools across the UK, Canada and India.

Together, we’re changing lives and transforming communities.

Want to learn more?

Our story

Check out this video from our 20th birthday party for a flavour of what SSE’s all about…

It all started with a man called Michael Young. He was a serial social entrepreneur who founded dozens of organisations, including the Consumers’ Association and the Open University. Michael realised that he could multiply his impact by equipping the next generation of social entrepreneurs to start and grow organisations that make a positive difference in the world.

In 1997, Michael brought together a group of 24 people who wanted to learn from him. The first SSE cohort ran from Bethnal Green in East London, and included our current CEO Ali Wilson! Since then, we’ve refined a unique learning approach for social entrepreneurs that is practical, action-based and engaging.

Today, our network of schools supports more than 1,000 leaders of social change each year.

Founder of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Young

Michael Young, founder of SSE

“Everybody has the capacity to be remarkable”

More about Michael

What we stand for

Our vision
A fair and equal society where the potential of all people is fully realised.

Our mission
To mobilise the experience of people from all backgrounds and support them to use entrepreneurial approaches to create lasting social and environmental change.

Our values
Integrity, inclusivity, empowerment.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs has signed up to EW’s Inclusive Cultures Pledge 2019, because we are committed to improving the diversity of our organisation and building inclusive cultures.

Inclusive Culture pledged, 2019 badge