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Start a social enterprise

Explore the critical areas to consider in setting up a social enterprise


Since 2017 our Food and Farming programme has worked with almost 80 student and staff groups to help them establish sustainable food social enterprises on campus. These have included zero waste shops/stalls, vegbox schemes, growing to sell and food preserving enterprises, pay-as-you-feel cafes, beekeeping and many more. The impact has included access to affordable, sustainable and healthy food, reduction in food waste and improved employability skills for students.

This half day training session will cover the critical areas to consider when setting up any social enterprise on campus including team roles, planning, producers/suppliers, making a profit, practical logistics & procedures, marketing, legalities/permissions and measuring impact.

Learning outcomes

After completing the training, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify who needs to be in the social enterprise team, the best ways to recruit for certain roles and how to plan for student volunteers moving on
  • Set a date for launching the social enterprise and develop a simple yet effective plan to meet this target
  • Have the confidence to launch a social enterprise that sells sustainable food or other sustainable products, is legally compliant and has measurable impacts

Who should attend?

This training is appropriate for students, students' union staff and students' union officers.

What other SOS-UK training does this opportunity link to?

This training links to our Food and Farming network.

What are the options for delivery?

This training is available as bespoke delivery for individual institutions / students' unions

This training can be delivered online or in person.

The training lasts for 3 hours.


Training can be commissioned at any point during the academic year.


Bespoke delivery in individual institutions / students' unions, please get in touch for a quote

Feedback from previous attendees

Thank you so much again for the training session you provided. It was extremely useful to us!” Gloria Rosetto, Imperial College London student
…thank you for a great session - you are very good at it. I felt the training was comprehensive and gave all the information required in such a short time frame. [The most valuable part was] building on my knowledge of sustainable food and creating a product for sale.” Colin Javens, Royal Agricultural University student
Giving structure and organisation to the processes and actions needed to make us successful, breaking down each element and giving great advice on how to solve them…great job.” Gregory Andrew, University of Bournemouth student