The Fellowship Programme

This programme is no longer running. Check out our other ones!

You’ve got an idea for a project that helps other people or the environment. How do you get it up and running?

That’s where we come in. We’ll support you to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes you need to become a social entrepreneur. You’ll be in a safe and supportive group, and we’ll support you as you push yourself to achieve your goals. The programme uses the latest entrepreneurial approaches, to help you develop a social enterprise that really works.

We believe the key to being a social entrepreneur is about developing yourself. So we’ll help you build up your resilience and grit, self-awareness, empathy and creativity – as well your entrepreneurial and business skills.

You come along for practical learning – no textbooks in sight! – for one or two days a month, between May and January. We’ll take you through all the key steps as you turn your idea into a real organisation. There are no long-winded application forms or scary interviews either.

We recognise that discrimination of all sorts infiltrate every part of our society, and we are working hard to counter that wherever we find it. To that end, we actively encourage applications from people of all faiths, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances and backgrounds, as well as those from disabled communities. No educational qualifications are needed to join our programmes.

Reasonable adjustments regarding accessibility will be made to ensure all are welcomed onto the programme. Please get in touch – we’re happy to talk things through.

Could Fellowship be right for you?

Can you answer “yes” to the following questions?

  • Do you want to start up an organisation to tackle a social or environmental problem, and have you started talking to people about how it could work? (We don’t expect you to have officially registered your organisation yet – we’ll help with that.)
  • Are you happy to learn by doing, in a practical way… rather than through lots of homework, essays and frameworks?
  • Are you excited about the idea of learning in a group of people from different backgrounds, and helping each other out?
  • Can you commit to up to two full days a month for learning sessions?

If you answered “yes”, then the Fellowship Programme could be right for you.

What is the School for Social Entrepreneurs?

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 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.

Is the Fellowship Programme right for me?

This programme could be right for you if:

  • You’ve got an idea for how to tackle a social or environmental problem
  • You want to turn your idea into a business or charity, and have thought about how it could make money
  • You’re talking to people about how your start-up could work – though you don’t need to have registered it or officially started up yet
  • You like learning by doing, in a practical way
  • You’d enjoy getting to know people from different backgrounds
  • You can commit to one to three days per month, from May to January

Meet Junior, who learnt with us on the Fellowship Programme…

What will I learn?

You’ll learn how to become a confident leader and make an impact. We’ll help you develop the skills you’ll need to be successful, like:

  • business skills (how to manage finances, business planning, measuring your impact & more)
  • accessing funding and winning clients
  • how to sell your idea and build support
  • learning from failure and building resilience

You’ll get 20 days of learning & support, spread out over nine months. Every day is about practical learning from those who’ve been there and done it. We’re definitely not about taking tests or doing homework! We give you practical knowledge to turn your idea into a reality.

You’ll be part of a group of around 15 people starting up projects like yours. You’ll work through problems and challenges together. We’ll also connect you with two mentors for one-on-one support.

97% of people who have been on the programme recommend our approach.

Is there a fee?

Here are our recommended course contributions (subject to change in 2021).

  • £450 if you’re employed and/or can afford it.
  • If you work part-time or are unemployed, we can work out a payment schedule which equates to roughly £5 per week.
  • We don’t want your financial situation to get in the way if this programme is right for you, so please get in touch to chat if this is the case.

So you know the full value of the programme, each place actually costs £8,500. Most of that cost is generously covered by our corporate supporters: Linklaters, PwC, RSA Group and private donors who want to support people like you to start social enterprises.

What are the course dates?

This programme runs from May to January each year. Each month, you attend between one and three learning days. All learning days are based in London Bridge, from 10am-4.30pm.