The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey finds that social enterprises are the fastest growing type of campus-born start-up, with the number of new ones growing from 14 in 2012- 13 to 169 in 2013-14.
The number of new formal spin-off companies fully or partly owned by universities remained flat over the same period. The number of new companies with no institutional ownership fell by a third, and employee numbers overall at such start-ups by 60 per cent.
The number of new staff and graduate spin-off companies grew in the period, although this growth was outpaced by expansion at social enterprises. Social enterprise start-ups employed 388 people in 2013-14, up from 159 in 2012-13, says the report, published on 31 March.