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RISE 2015: Growing green social enterprises in Bristol

Julian Okoye, Head of Business Development for GENeco

GENeco's 'poo bus'

Press release issued: 11 November 2015

One of the UK’s largest public social enterprise conferences returns to Bristol on Saturday 21 November, focussing on the city’s growing green economy.

RISE 2015, organised by students at the University of Bristol, has attracted some of the UK's most influential and innovative ethically-minded business people to provide workshops, case studies and skills sessions, all aimed at helping people to develop their own social enterprises in the future.

It comes as a new report* reveals one of the lasting impacts of Bristol's year as European Green Capital could be up to 10,000 new jobs, a collective saving of nearly £1 million a day in the city’s energy bills and achieving a series of ambitious environmental targets.

To mark European Green Capital 2015, many of the social enterprises which gave Bristol the edge over the rest of the competition will be sharing their words of wisdom.

They include Julian Okoye, Head of Business Development for GENeco, the award winning recycling and renewable energy company that has implemented several award winning innovative green projects, including the bio-bus - popularly called 'the Poo Bus' - which showcases the possibilities of transport powered by human waste.

Also speaking at RISE 2015 is Saf Nazeer, the co-founder of HelpfulPeeps, a new social network that connects people who want help with those who can help for free. The pilot was launched in Bristol earlier this year and has grown to over 2,000 users in the city with people helping each other on a daily basis.

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker. Also joining the line-up for 2015 is Annabelle Hunt from charity FRANK Water, which sells ethical bottled water to fund safe drinking water projects in developing countries, and Chloe Tingle, the founder of No More Taboo, a not-for-profit social enterprise selling reusable sanitary products which was recently named Female Social Enterprise of the Year.

There will also be a panel debate discussing sustainability entitled 'Ways to Go Green'.

RISE 2015, which takes place in The Richmond Building - home to the University of Bristol Students' Union (Bristol SU) on Queen's Road, has been organised by the student enterprise networks Inc. and Bristol Hub. It's sponsored by Teach First and Triodos Bank.

It's open to anyone who wants to debate, exchange and launch new ideas, from students who aspire to run their own social enterprise to local business professionals.

Claudia Limpert, Bristol Hub Student Support Officer, said: "The RISE conference is set to be better than ever this year. We've got some really exciting speakers confirmed, and students will be able to learn about the inspiring social enterprises that are right on their doorstep. This year we are also including a panel discussion, where attendees will be encouraged to join in the debate and get their questions about social enterprise answered."

Tickets are now on sale, priced at £8.50 for students and £15.50 for members of the public. You can buy tickets on the RISE 2015 website. Refreshments and a free lunch are included.

Further information

*The 'Our Resilient Energy Future' report for Bristol City Council outlines the huge economic and job creation potential from significant financial investment in low carbon opportunities.  Research by the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute shows that investment over the next decade presents an opportunity for the city to save £200-300million on our energy bills and create 2,000-10,000 jobs.

About the University of Bristol and European Green Capital

The University of Bristol is proud to be part of a city-wide initiative to make Bristol a world leader in sustainability as part of its designation as European Green Capital 2015. Contributing to the collective efforts of 800+ organisations, the University is hosting a series of events, seminars and public debates that build on its long-standing ambition to generate knowledge that will shape a future we all want to live in. From research that tackles the challenges of environmental uncertainty, through to voluntary community projects that see students engaging with local residents, the University has pledged its commitment to the lasting legacy of #Bristol2015.

For further details, see the University's Green Capital web page. We tweet as #UoBGreen.

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