Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Our team

Andy Brady

Andy Brady has initiated and led ARU projects, courses and modules in charity and social enterprise leadership for over 20 years, authoring several book chapters and academic articles on the subject. He has also been interviewed regularly on television and radio and written publicly accessible articles for The Conversation on issues faced by the third sector.

Andy has a Masters in Community Enterprise from the Judge Business School, Cambridge, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as serving as a Director of Social Enterprise East of England (2005-present, currently Chair).

His time at ARU has included roles as a Programme Manager on ESF projects, Founder and Director of 3rd Sector Futures, Course Founder/Leader (Cert HE Charity & Social Enterprise Management), and leadership of several third sector and sustainability modules including Third Sector Leadership & Management, Social Enterprise, and Sustainability & Responsible Business.

He is currently the Deputy Head of the School of Management, and was recently the Lead for Social Spark, a project focussing on social innovation in Basildon. He received Vice Chancellor’s Awards for his pioneering work embedding services to the third sector at ARU, in 2008 and 2020.

Andy has also worked as a charity co-ordinator, a trustee, a social entrepreneurship and leadership trainer overseas (Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia), an external examiner for two other universities, and a visiting lecturer with the University of Cambridge, where he led a team of business coaches on the prestigious Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship Programme.

Nicky Stevenson

Nicky Stevenson is an experienced trainer and business adviser who has worked to support third sector organisations throughout her career. She has been an Associate Lecturer at ARU for nine years, teaching primarily on the Cert HE in Charity and Social Enterprise Management. She is currently working on the Social Spark programme, supporting third sector organisations in Basildon.

Outside ARU, she has designed and delivered training for this sector, including social enterprise start-up workshops, delivered throughout Essex on behalf of the SELEP Growth Hub; designed and delivered training on social impact measurement, written impact measurement tools, for use by small organisations; and designed and delivered a Social Investment training course for voluntary organisations in Essex. She has particular experience in legal structures, governance and marketing.

Nicky has been an Area Advisor on the Big Local programme since 2011, supporting local communities. She is a board member of Social Enterprise East of England and has also been a board member of a number of third sector organisations at local and national levels.

John Thompson

John Thompson is a part-time Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at ARU. Prior to formal retirement, he held a full-time Chair in Entrepreneurship in the UK and was a Visiting Professor in Finland, Australia and New Zealand.

He has published widely and written a number of books in both entrepreneurship and strategy. The third edition of his book Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament and Opportunity – co-authored with Bill Bolton – is published by Routledge.

John's interest in social entrepreneurs developed when he researched and worked with a number of community initiatives and social enterprises in the North of England.