The Office of Social Entrepreneurship (OSE) was established 2010. In keeping with the mandate emerging from the Principals Office, the focus is threefold, Scholarship, Outreach and Enterprise Development. The Office has been charged with the responsibility of supporting and promoting entrepreneurial thinking and practice in the university, which supports the UWI’s strategic direction of having a new UWI graduate who embraces entrepreneurial thinking.
Through its main office on the University of the West Indies, Mona campus and affiliated community based organizations (CBOs), civil society organizations (CSO), and partner state ministries, departments and agencies (MDA), the Office of Social Entrepreneurship is the primary institution on the UWI, Mona campus responsible for delivering social entrepreneurship education and training for students, as well as the lead research Centre in the said field. As a community-based educational resource institute, OSE relies on a strong relationships with community organizations to underscore the institution’s strong commitment to building social enterprise and provide education and training opportunities that are accessible and relevant to community development and the creation of sustainable livelihoods.
As the Office’s service area spans more than 50 inner-city communities and schools across urban Jamaica, and caters to financially constrained MDAs, quality research, education, and training services must be delivered on a modest budget. As such, OSE has a unique expertise in delivering cost effective, yet quality services. Nationally, OSE has developed a successful reputation as a research unit, project management office and provider of highly-skilled expert assistance in the areas of social entrepreneurship, strategic planning, community development, cross-cutting institutional and public sector capacity building and employment-oriented skills training.
OSE has extensive experience developed among grassroots CBOs, CSOs and NGOs across the island, in both rural and urban spaces. OSE presently partners with the Youth Crime Watch of Jamaica and has outreach programmes in all 14 parishes implementing its ‘Saving Lives Through Enterprise’ project.
A unique feature of OSE is our demand-driven approach to research, training and education. All of our efforts are based on the creation of enterprise while advancing sustainable livelihoods. Our methodologies are based on a sound and proven linkage with business and industry, and hence an integration into economic and social development. With a primary function of responding to the needs of individual, employers and the entrepreneurial community, as well the public service sectors, OSE is uniquely positioned to support the development of Social Enterprises across the island.
OSE becomes the lead institution for Social Entrepreneurial development within the region.