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University scoops two social enterprise awards

24 Jun 2011

Edwin and Gill make a difference!


A student and a member of staff from the University have been unveiled as winners of a prestigious social entrepreneurship award.

Dr Gill Green from the School of Community Based Medicine and Edwin Broni-Mensah (pictured left), who is studying for a PhD in Applied Maths, both won HE Social Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards.

The awards highlight the exceptional achievements and positive change which universities, staff and students can make by creating a hotbed of entrepreneurial ideas and establishing social ventures.

The awards are as follows:

  • Outstanding social impact - Dr Gill Green for STORM Skills Training, which offers suicide prevention training packages on a not-for-profit basis for use in healthcare, social care, criminal justice and education services.

    The venture has been effectively developed into a sustainable business and can demonstrate not only long lasting impact on a local scale, but also globally.
  • Outstanding student social entrepreneur - Edwin Broni-Mensah for GiveMeTap, which provides an ecological way for people to stay hydrated on the go.

    Restaurant, bar and cafe owners in Manchester have signed up as 'providers' to supply free access to clean tap water to those who carry their branded life-time aluminium bottles.

The awards were unveiled at the national Dare to be Different conference, held at the University of Sheffield and organised by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Both Gill and Edwin went on to acknowledge the support that they had gained from the University, particularly from Dr Sonia Nikolovski, Venture Manager at UMIP, and from Dr Martin Henery, Enterprise Academic in the Manchester Enterprise Centre.

Martin, who is also the HEFCE Social Enterprise Ambassador for The University of Manchester, felt that the awards were fully deserved, given both the strength of the business case and the value of their respective social missions. In fact, The University of Manchester has enjoyed above-average success in obtaining funding from UnLtd in the last year, with another five student-run social enterprises accessing a further £23k in awards from UnLtd and Gill herself receiving an UnLtd development award of £15,000.

Martin said "These awards just reflect the strong desire and abilities of both students and staff from this University to create sustainable solutions to some of the bigger social problems that currently face us."

Martin and Sonia are now working with Gill and Edwin to see how they could learn from their experiences in order to better support staff/student-led social enterprises that will undoubtedly be coming forward in the not too distant future.

If you have an idea for a social enterprise, are actually running one or would simply like to find out more, then do get in touch with:

You can find more about the UnLtd awards at: