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British Council
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The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, and builds trust between them worldwide. We call this work cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries, connecting millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in the English language, the Arts, Education and Society. We believe these are the most effective means of engaging with others, and we have been doing this work since 1934. The British Council’s Global Social Enterprise programme draws on the UK’s expertise to support the development of social enterprise and social investment in the UK and other countries and share best practice and create opportunities between them. The programme was launched in China and Indonesia in 2009 and is currently operated in 24 countries. Our programme is delivered with partners who share our determination to support positive social change, sustainable development and inclusive growth. They provide business consulting, study tours, networking opportunities and funding support, enabling proven social enterprises to scale up their beneficial activities. Through the programme, we provide aspiring and practising social entrepreneurs as well as NGO practitioners, community leaders and university students with skills training, mentoring and access to UK expertise. We also offer proven social enterprises access to partner supplied mentoring and funding opportunities through business plan competitions. In 2013, we launched a Social Investment Platform in Greater China to connect established social entrepreneurs with social investors and provide them access to the capital, networks and mentoring they need to grow into thriving social businesses that can attract and deploy substantial capital and support more beneficiaries. We organise high profile policy dialogues and public engagement activities which promote social enterprise and social investment, corporate social responsibility and sustainable economic development. They also disseminate best UK and international practice on building ecosystems to promote social enterprise and investment. Through such initiatives, the programme showcases UK best practice and innovation and builds connections across borders between social entrepreneurs, intermediary organisations and social investors.