Cornwall Launches School For Social Entrepreneurs

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Penwith seeks people with Richard Branson’s entrepreneurialism and Nelson Mandela’s social values for innovative learning programmes.

The Cornwall School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) based in Penwith is looking for people who want to make a difference in their local communities by turning their ideas for change into reality. These are people like Diye Wariebi who came to the London SSE with nothing more than an idea – he wanted to set up an organisation to provide low cost computers and access to broadband to households on low incomes. Thanks to the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Diye was able to make this idea a reality.  The business he set up with their help is called DigiBridge. Based in Whitechapel in London, it works in partnership with housing associations and community groups – successfully enough to employ three members of staff in its first year.

SSE Cornwall is launching on 10th October at Tregenna Castle in St Ives with a planned new programme in Penwith in 2009.  The programme is part-time and runs for a year from Cornwall SSE’s base in Penwith.  SSE provides tailored support and learning to creative, resourceful and practical people who have innovative ideas for community benefit. The courses are open to people of any age and background and you don’t need any formal qualifications to attend; just a good idea for a project to make a difference in your chosen community and the passion, drive and commitment to make it happen.

Jim McKenna, Chief Executive of Penwith District Council said; “This is an extremely exciting investment for Penwith and Cornwall.  This will be the seventh school in the UK and the first in the South West, which is why Penwith District Council, together with a team of partners including Cornwall Works, JobcentrePlus, West Cornwall Together, Truro & Penwith College, CUC and a local SSE Associate have worked hard to enable the school to open.  It will undoubtedly benefit many people in our area and across Cornwall.  The School intends to recruit inspirational mentors from local businesses and the community to assist the students and we would appeal to those who feel they can help, to come forward.  Our communities are so fundamental to economic and social success and this exciting development will enable new role models to be nurtured for local success.

”One of SSE’s previous students Rosa Goncalves, says:

“The SSE has guided me, supported me and given me confidence. Without the programme, I would still be struggling but today I am achieving my dream”.

To read more about SSE and student stories visit: www.sse.org.uk

Cornwall SSE is possible thanks to investment by the Department of Work and Pensions & the European Social Fund.

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