We propose that the FairShares Institute for Cooperative Social Entrepreneurship should provide a home for the community of academics, entrepreneurs, managers and professionals engaged in research, knowledge transfer and education on cooperative social entrepreneurship at Sheffield Hallam University. The institute will create an environment for nurturing teaching associates, research fellows, readers and professors as they engage with each other to develop the field.
Fulfilling SHU’s Strategy and SBS’s PRME Agenda
The five research themes we set out earlier contribute to the university’s strategy to shape futures, create knowledge, lead locally and engage globally to build a great university.
- Theme 1 (Wealth and Power Sharing) and 5 (Social Democracy) advance and develop SBS research on the characteristics, governance, ownership and management of the social economy (member-owned/led enterprises such as cooperatives, mutual societies, employee-owned businesses, credit unions, cooperative banks and other associations and foundations that engage in social enterprise).
- Theme 2 (Social Purpose / Auditing) advances SBS research on responsible business, including – but not limited to – individual and corporate social responsibility (CSR). This theme supports research into enterprise creation, corporate and community reporting, social auditing, impact investing and integrated accounting. SBS have to evidence commitment to this theme for EPAS and AACSB accreditation.
- Theme 3 (Ethical Goods/Services) and 4 (Ethical Production/Consumption) advance/develop SBS research on the integration of ethics and business, with specific reference to 2030 sustainable development goals promoted by the United Nations. SBS have to report on this commitment bi-annually in our PRME SIP report to the United Nations, and evidence commitment for EPAS and AACSB accreditation.
Applying the FairShares Model to the FairShares Institute
We believe in learning and researching through active engagement. We have applied the FairShares Model during the planning process . We will recruit/refresh the steering group that founded these plans (‘Stewards’), attract scholars (‘Labour’) engage with learners (‘Users’) and, starting with Sheffield Hallam itself, secure HEI supporters (‘Investors’) to create a hub. This will advance multi-stakeholder design principles and sustainable development goals in social enterprise research and business education.