School for Social Entrepreneurs goes down under

Sydney franchise for British charity

A British charity that supports social enterprises has taken its model further afield by opening a new service in Australia.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs, which opened in London 11 years ago, already has franchises in several parts of the UK, including Belfast, Liverpool and Cornwall.

But two years ago it received an invitation from Steve Lawrence, a social entrepreneur in Australia, to set up a franchise in Sydney.

The school, which cost about £750,000 to set up, opened its doors to its first batch of students last month.

Alastair Wilson, chief executive of the London school, who spent two months in Australia setting up the new franchise, said there was an appetite in Australia for British expertise. "There's real respect around the world for the UK third sector," he said. "There's a huge amount of learning and leadership we can take abroad.

"The Australian sector has been battered by 10 years of John Howard as prime minister, and it's just starting to recover."

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