Past Events

Photos, descriptions and more

The past events page provides a resource for you to browse descriptions and photos of talks and debates involving high profile speakers from the world of social entrepreneurship.

Past Events

The Inaugural Beyond Profit Annual Lecture

Wednesday 4th May 2011
Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of TESCO

This year, The Cambridge Union Society plays host to the inaugural Beyond Profit Annual Lecture. The lecture, entitled ‘Every little helps: Big Business’ role in society’ will be delivered by Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of TESCO.

The event is open to all (Union membership is not required).

This will be one of Sir Terry Leahy’s first talks since retiring from the role of CEO at Tesco. In a career that started with shelf stacking, Sir Terry worked his way up through the ranks at Tesco, becom¬ing chief executive in 1997. Under his leadership Tesco became the 2nd biggest retailer by profit in the world and the first supermarket chain to introduction zero carbon stores.

Sir Terry will address our questions as we wonder whether big business can truly have a positive role in society, and if, so what it is. Having worked in what is undeniably a controversial position; Sir Terry Leahy will present the case for big-business, showing how corporations can be socially responsible and why they might even be the most efficient vehicles for improving our society.

If you are interested in business, the environment, politics or social issues, then this event is not to be missed.

Social Enterprise Evening

Thursday 10th March 2011
Dr. Martin Clark, Deputy Chief Executive of Future Business

The social enterprise evening will include:

* A talk delivered by Dr. Martin Clark, Deputy Chief Executive of Future Business, on the growth and impact of social enterprise in the Cambridge area.

* A series of ‘snapshot’, five-minute presentations delivered by student and community actors on their involvement in social enterprise.

* An hour to an hour and a half drinks reception and networking session.

If you or a representative of your organization is available to attend this event, please rsvp to by Sunday March 6th and state if you require presentation space. Please also include a short bio of yourself or your organization and a summary of what you might like to offer to/gain from other participants at the networking session.

From dream to reality - funding and support for social enterprise

Monday 21st February 2011
Cliff Prior (CEO Unltd), Sobia Hamid (Founder,

Want to learn about how you could set up your social start up or project and how to get funding and support for it?

UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs: people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better. They do this by providing a complete package of funding and support, to help these individuals make their ideas a reality. And why not hear from some students who have done it themselves?

Sobia is a current Cambridge student who is an Unltd Award winner for her start up She will tell us about her experience, the challenges she has had to overcome and how she has achieved her success to date


Tuesday 8th February 2011
Melanie Robinson (head of expansion for mybnk) Mark Cheng, Professor Aniket

A career in the financial sector does not always have to compromise your mission to make positive impact. Microfinance over the last decades has provided credit access to a growing number of the world’s poor, helping to address development issues. Meanwhile the latest crisis in the Indian microfinance sector drives us to question its future. This workshop will draw upon the experience of leading practitioners in the field, explore the debate around microfinance and look into how students with a passion in this area can get involved.

Social entrepreneurs, the models they use, and you

Wednesday 2nd February 2011
Ashoka Representatives, and Nick Sireau (Chairman of the AKU Society, founding Executive Director of SolarAid, and Ashoka Fellow from Cambridge)

Want to find out what social enterprise is and what social entrepreneurs actually do?

Ever wanted to find out how you could start your own social enterprise or just get involved?

Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, they have elected over 3000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 70 countries. Nick Sireau is an Ashoka Fellow from Cambridge and, as Chairman of the AKU Society, a successful social entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical space.

You’ll get the chance to meet them, find out what they do and learn how you can do it too.

See and for some more information on the topics being discussed at the event.

This event is co hosted with the Cambridge Hub as part of the hub series.

The Future of Entrepreneurship - Workshop 2

Thursday 25th November 2010
Amanda Jones, who successfully pitched on Dragons' Den

A targeted workshop with only 30 places available,providing practical advice on how to start an ethically centred business that can also make a profit.

The session will by led by Amanda Jones co founder of Red Button Design, a for profit social enterprise developing products exclusively for the humanitarian industry. Amanda has successfully pitched on the Dragon's Den and is an Enterprise UK Ambassador and a fellow of the RSA.

Attendees are welcome to join us for drinks afterwards with Amanda. Register early on the website to avoid disappointment.

Business and Causes - Workshop 2

Monday 15th November 2010
Tom Rippin

A workshop for 30 people providing an overview of the challenges facing the next generation of business leaders.

The workshop will be led by Tom Rippin founder of the OnPurpose Leadership Programme and ex Mckinsey consultant.

Light food and drinks will be provided, with attendees welcome to join us for drinks with the guests afterwards. Register early on our website to avoid disappointment.

The Future of Entrepreneurship - Workshop 1

Tuesday 26th October 2010
Pamela Hartigan, Howard Chase, Neil Prem, Martin Clark

Cfel’s ‘Enterprise Tuesday’ panel discussion on 'Which customer? And why this matters?' focuses on environmental and social inclusion and the new business potentials these hold. A discussion group for 30 attendees following this will build on these questions and confront the issue of what will define the next generation of entrepreneurship.

The main discussion group includes Pamela Hartigan, Director of Oxford’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Howard Chase of Enval Limited, with Neil Prem and Martin Clark from Citylife moderating our focused discussion group.

Light food and drinks will be provided, join us for drinks afterwards. Turn up early to avoid disappointment!

Climate Change and Business - Workshop 1

Monday 18th October 2010
Nick Pennell

There are only 30 places available on what promises to be a fascinating workshop providing an overview of the growing importance of sustainability in business. Expect to learn about what is happening in sustainability right now. The session will finish with an interactive case study exercise where you will get your own opportunity to create a solution to a real life case. Prizes on offer!

Leading the session will be Nick Pennell, a Partner at Booz & Company and Head of the Sustainability Practice.

Light food and drinks will be provided, with attendees welcome to join us for drinks with the guests afterwards from 8.30pm onwards.

Register early on our website to avoid disappointment and please arrive promptly at 7pm.

Freshers' Squash

Monday 11th October 2010

Our Freshers’ Squash is a great chance for you to meet the team informally and chat more about what the society can offer you and how you can get involved. Short presentations will take place every 15 minutes across the hour so you can stick around for as long as you fancy. You'll be given the opportunity to quiz the committee and input your own ideas, or alternatively sit back and chill, or leave knowing that you’re already keen enough to come along to our events! There will be some free drinks and nibbles and feel free to take as much literature and freebies from Beyond Profit and supporting organisations as you can!