USE IT | University of Birmingham interns map tourism social enterprise opportunity

This year iSE has taken on two promising young students to gain experience and help develop their interest in the social economy through the Birmingham delivery of the UIA USE IT programme.

For the past 8 years the University of Birmingham has run a placement program for final year geography students through their Careers Network. This program offers students the opportunity to conduct bespoke research in a place of work on a ten-week placement program, finalising with the production of a piece original research.

Molly and Rebecca will be completing their original research on social enterprise opportunities for tourism in the USE IT project area. Their research project will include studying good practice of tourism social enterprises internationally, nationally and locally, researching the project area including demographics and future trends. Drawing all this research together into a final report which will advise about a potential tourism social enterprise for the USE IT area.

L Rebecca and R Molly UoB Interns Jan 2018 croppedRebecca (left in picture) is currently writing her dissertation on how the concept of place attachment effects views on the process of fracking in the North West of England and is interested in regeneration, and the different approaches to regeneration in terms of top down and bottom up approaches. “I was interested in working with iSE to learn more about social enterprises and their approach to helping groups within different communities and backgrounds to start up their own businesses, which in turn can be used to help areas as a whole.”

Molly (right in picture) is writing her dissertation about the integration of international students at the University of Birmingham. She has helped to run University of Birmingham’s Carnival RAG (Raising and Giving) society for 3 years. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation. “I had little knowledge of what social enterprise was before this year, and already in the two first weeks here, it is proving extremely relevant to my degree and potential career interests.”

Sarah Crawley, CEO of iSE, says, ‘We have a fundamental belief at iSE of encouraging and developing young people in the workplace. To provide valuable work experience within a social enterprise such as iSE adds to our social impact, and Rebecca and Molly’s academic and employment credentials. However, the long-term impact of this important piece of research will build social capital in the Smethwick, Ladywood and Soho localities providing a real legacy to the USE IT programme.’