Funding And Support Available To Start Or Grow Your Community Business

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) have opened applications to the 2018 Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

If you’ve got a Social Enterprise that you want to start or scale then check it out.

What’s a “Social Entrepreneur” and “Social Enterprise”?

A Social Entrepreneur is a person who establishes a Business with the aim of solving social problems or effecting social change. At the heart of it, its about putting people before profit. You can still earn a living from running a Social Enterprise, the main difference is that it’s all about benefitting others, rather than it just being a machine to make money.

The way we describe a Social Enterprise to people is as follows. A Social Enterprise, also referred to as a Community Business, or Community Interest Company (CIC), exists to do good, like a Charity, but trades, like a Business.

A great local example is Ian Smith who runs the Tunza Centre on Boundary Road. He is a Social Entrepreneur and Tunza is a Social Enterprise.

There are three levels of support available: start up, trade up and scale up.

They help people to start up and scale social enterprises, charities, community projects and impact-led organisations. We could give you a year of support, including:

  • A learning programme
  • A grant
  • Mentoring
  • A supportive community

There is no cost to you at any point.


Which programme level is right for me?

This programme has three levels. Find out which one is for you via the links below.

Start Up 2018 (includes traditional grant)

  • Your project is in the planning stages but ready to start, or less than two years old
  • Your project income is less than £15,000 a year
  • You want to learn how to establish your organisation

More information on the Start Up Programme

Trade Up 2018 (includes Match Trading grant)

  • Your project was established at least a year ago, and probably has at least one paid member of staff
  • Your project income is more than £15,000 a year (no upper limit)
  • You want to learn how to strengthen your organisation’s finances and impact to build a solid foundation for scaling

More information on the Trade Up Programme

Scale Up 2018 (includes Match Trading grant)

  • Your project was probably established two or more years ago, and probably has two or more paid members of staff
  • Your project income is more than £75,000 a year (no upper limit)
  • You want to learn how to scale your organisation from a solid foundation to create even more impact

More information on the Scale Up Programme

More about SSE and their students


What’s the deadline to apply?

They are open for application until 1pm, Thursday 26th April 2018.

Who can apply?

They welcome people from all backgrounds, including long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, and people with disabilities. You don’t need any educational qualifications. They can help you at all stages: whether you have just an idea, you’re already up-and-running, or you’re ready to scale.

Is this really free?

Yes! And they’ll give you a grant!

The School for Social Entrepreneurs is a charity. Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Big Lottery Fund support us by funding every place and grant on this programme, because they are committed to supporting social entrepreneurs.

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