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Visiting Professor Sir Vince Cable Champions Social Enterprise

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Former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Rt. Hon  Sir Vince Cable visited campus last week to deliver a lecture to postgraduate students  and local community members.

His lecture, part of the MA Charity Management Programme, focused on Social Enterprise.  To a full lecture theatre, he posed the opening question: ‘Since social enterprise seems such a great idea-business with a social purpose -why is there so little of it?’

As part of his presentation, Sir Vince referred to the fact that 70,000 social enterprises employ one million people in the UK, and make up around circa 1.5% of the country’s GDP. Of particular interest, he added that they were uniquely inclusive businesses: 40% led by women; 40% disabled directors; and 30% BME directors in total.

Sir Vince concluded his presentation noting the core tensions within the social enterprise as: Purpose and profit maximisation; capital constraint and expansion; and accountability and management freedom.

St Mary’s Director of Postgraduate Business Programmes, Dermot Kelly, who hosted the lecture, commented,

“It was a pleasure to welcome Sir Vince back to campus. Our students are incredibly fortunate to have such an authority on the subject of social enterprise in their lecture theatre.

“Our Charity Management Masters is specifically designed to redress this issue and provide a pathway for career development within the non-profit sector. I know the time Sir Vince has taken to speak to our student community will have a real impact on their enthusiasm for the topic and their career development.”

Sir Vince, a Visiting Professor in the School of Management and Social Sciences, contributes to teaching across business, finance and economics modules and is working with St Mary’s academics on curriculum development and St Mary’s enterprise development and local community engagement.

Dermot Kelly leads the University’s business Masters Programmes including the new masters in International Business Management now recruiting students for September. He also teaches on the BA degree in Business Management, the BA degree in Tourism Management, and the MA in Charity Management.

Dermot is keen to hear from employers interested in collaborative opportunities for work placements, internships and consultancy projects.

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