School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) empowers people from all backgrounds to create social change.  It is important for us to measure the impact of the work to prove that what we are doing is making a difference, and to help us improve our work to ensure that it is consistently meeting our students’ needs.

Internally, we evaluate each course that we run to check that it has met student expectations. Every few years we also invite external organisations to evaluate our work and to measure the impact that it has had on our students and their organisations.

Impact at a glance

Newly released data from a review of our largest national programme, conducted by Can Invest and Investing for Good, found that the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with SSE, is unique in its scale and design. The review looks at both the impact of SSE and the wider impact that our Fellows, from diverse backgrounds and regions across the UK, have.

Who we are working with?

  • 50% of all Fellows are working in the 20% most deprived geographical communities in the UK
  • 1 in 4 Fellows have direct experience of the social issue they aim to address

What issues are we tackling?

Fellows work to tackle a range of social issues with 80% of Fellows saying their social enterprise is the first of its kind in their community. Recurring themes among our student population include:

  • tackling widening health inequalities through food and nutrition
  • creating flexible work opportunities for people with disabilities
  • preventing homelessness among young care leavers
  • connecting people and communities
  • encouraging enterprising behaviours from an early age

Find out more about the impact of our Fellows by watching this video of Nick Green, Founder of Incredible Farm.

How do our programmes help?

  • 83% of Fellows feel more confident in being able to achieve positive social/environmental impact as a result of the programme
  • 77% feel more confident about being able to measure their impact as a result of the programme
  • 75% agree or strongly agree that the programme has contributed to the greater financial sustainability of their organisation
  • 88% link their increase in turnover at least partly to their SSE course
  • 95% have stayed in contact with people they met during the programme

Creating opportunities

Forecasts suggest over 7,000 jobs will be created over the lifetime of the 5 year programme. This is based on findings to date that show each Fellow’s organisation creates, on average, 2.3 jobs.

Findings also show that 59% of Fellows’ employees are typically disadvantaged in the workplace.

Furthermore, many Fellows recruit volunteers from the local community to support their organisations. By doing so they help support local residents, including those whose may be considered vulnerable due to their circumstances.


Further evaluations, reports and research

1997-2011 Impact Evaluation Report

New Philanthropy Capital completed an organisational wide impact evaluation in 2011.

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SSE Cultural Leadership Programme – An Evaluation by New Economics Foundation

In 2007/2008, the School for Social Entrepreneurs ran two programmes, one on a weekly basis and one on a block basis. On the block programme, where students attend for blocks of three days approximately
every six weeks, twelve students had their places funded by the Cultural Leadership Programme. This report presents the findings of an evaluation into the efficacy and transformative effect of the SSE approach and methodology both on the twelve cultural entrepreneurs on the SSE 2007/2008 block programme, and on the organisations they are associated with.

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Scaling to Success Evaluation 2011

Completed by Rocket Science, this evaluation looks at Scaling to Success, a 2010/2011 pilot training programme delivered by SSE.  The programme has since evolved to become ‘Replication and Social Franchising‘, which is still delivered each year.

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Final Year Evaluation of The School for Social Entrepreneurs’ Enterprising Community Advisors Programme

In 2009, SSE secured three year funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission to develop the Enterprising Community Advisors Programme (ECAP). This programme was to consist of three 12 month learning programmes for a total of 39 social entrepreneurs setting up new, or developing existing guidance, advice and advocacy organisations to serve the disadvantaged areas or underrepresented groups from which they come.

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A Report on Social Enterprise Training in the UK

In 2013 we contracted Mark Richardson, of Social Impact Consulting, to carry out research examining the training needs of social entrepreneurs in the UK.  The key findings, which we have used to shape our course offering, are available in this summary report.

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