Oaks partner with housing association to launch social enterprise incubator

Aster Group and Oaks Consultancy have developed a social enterprise incubator to deliver life-changing impact in their local communities

We are delighted to be partnering with Housing association, Aster Group, to launch a new social enterprise incubator, inc. 

The first-of-its-kind in the housing sector, inc. is being delivered by the Aster Foundation, a part of the housing association that invests in projects that improve lives and remove barriers to opportunity for those living in Aster’s community of more than 90,000 customers and 30,000 homes.

With unrivalled insight into Aster's communities and customers inc. provides entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and confidence to accelerate their social businesses. Aster Foundation Director Cam Kinsella enlisted Oaks to launch the virtual hub of learning and development, and investment opportunities for the budding social entrepreneurs. 

We have also helped to build the programme delivery model, identify funding opportunities, and advising on community impact – providing additional expertise and guidance to the Aster team. We have supported Aster Foundation to bring to life their vision of creating a hub for emerging social entrepreneurs to make a difference to the lives of Aster’s customers.

Building on the resources and expertise of Aster, its people and partners, the ten-month programme provides a core syllabus covering all areas of business development, growth and ethics; an opt-in syllabus to customise the learning and strengthen fundamental areas; mentoring and coaching to support personal growth; a digital workspace for peer learning, networking and collaboration; expert advice from programme partners and access to sector resources, funding and investment. 

We are also undertaking a wide-reaching fundraising campaign for the programme by engaging with grant-giving organisations, venture capitalists, philanthropists, and corporate partners. On behalf of Aster, we are pitching to prospective funders the unique opportunity to enable social entrepreneurs to make a difference within Aster's communities. 

Luke Southall, Managing Director at Oaks comments: Whether it’s tackling homelessness, supporting people into long-term employment or providing critical mental health and resilience services, Aster Foundation have an unrelenting commitment to changing lives. inc. is an extension of what they do best: creative and ambitious approaches to their communities’ most profound challenges. We are delighted to be a part of it and cannot wait to work with the Foundation to support some of the UK’s most exciting and progressive social entrepreneurs.” 

Director of The Aster Foundation Cameron Kinsella added: "We created inc. to provide a platform for those who want to make a real difference, through building businesses to change the world. Social enterprises are providing creative solutions to society’s biggest challenges, with 31% of them working in the top 20% of the most deprived communities in the UK. Innovative, brave and creative, we have an amazing group of entrepreneurs this year. I’m really looking forward to working with them to deliver real change." 

For more information and to read about this year's entrepreneurs, head to

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