Goldsmiths partners with London universities to support new start-ups

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Goldsmiths has teamed up with nine other London universities to support new start-ups (led by students and staff) with a social purpose through a new funding project.

On 16 October 2023, Research England announced that it would be awarding £1.5m to support the creation of the London Social Venture Fund Project, with the aim of piloting new social-goal-driven start-ups by providing early funding.

Social ventures emerging from a university’s knowledge base have a massive potential to create social and economic impact – yet often struggle to secure enough funding and support to grow. Investors are less likely to fund startup founders from minority backgrounds or female founders. University social ventures have a higher percentage of female founders, and London has the most diverse student body in Britain. By backing university social ventures led by students and staff, this project could improve the diversity of London startups.

The project aims to support emerging social ventures to secure funding to grow and lay the foundations for a self-sustaining social venture fund. It will provide direct support as well as evidence of ‘what works’ to enable social entrepreneurs to build sustainable organisations.  

Siân Prime, Academic Lead, Enterprise at Goldsmiths, University of London said: “At Goldsmiths, we have a highly successful track record of supporting student and graduate start-ups, as well as a series of relevant initiatives aimed at addressing the barriers faced by global majority and female entrepreneurs. The London Social Venture Fund is an important and much-needed project, which should bring significant benefits to the communities we work with.”

The new initiative led by Queen Mary and UCL brings together an innovative collection of London universities including Goldsmiths and other partners to support social ventures emerging from universities, aiming to make a real difference to communities across London and further afield.

The participating universities are Goldsmiths, University of London, Queen Mary University of London, UCL, London Metropolitan University, London Business School, King’s College London, University of the Arts London, London School of Economics, University of East London, and City University.

Other partners and investors include Barclays Eagle Labs, Sodexo, Central London Forwards, Royal Docks, Royal Albert Docks, the London Borough of Newham, and the Federation of Small Businesses.