BIG injects £6.9m into Lloyds’ social entrepreneurs scheme

BIG injects £6.9m into Lloyds’ social entrepreneurs scheme
Civil Society, by Jonathan Last

Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is investing £6.9m into the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

This additional funding brings the programme’s total investment to £14m, building on the original £5m investment from Lloyds on its launch in April and another £2m from social investor Nominet Trust.

The number of social entrepreneurs funded nationwide is now expected to pass 1,000, to reach an estimated 120,000 people within communities nationwide.

“The new investment from BIG further increases the ambition of the programme to recruit and support participants who have the potential to create well over £20m in social value and generate over 4,000 jobs each year,” a statement from Lloyds read.

Wider range of support

Lloyds insists that the additional grant enables the programme to provide a wider range of financial support and educational training at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) sites.

In addition to the financial support, a senior mentor will be provided for each individual candidate for their entire 12-month training period. The number of delivery locations will also double, from seven to 14 sites.

Speaking about the grant, Nat Sloane, England chair of BIG, said: “The School for Social Entrepreneurs is all about finding and supporting innovative ideas that will bring about real positive change to local communities, a mission that the Big Lottery Fund fully supports.

“I am delighted that BIG is joining the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme, a partnership that demonstrates how the private and charitable sectors can join forces to ensure that organisations such as SSE are able continue their fantastic work in the future.”

Alastair Wilson, chief executive at SSE, added that the move will lead to “immense positive social change across the nation”.

Participants on the programme have so far have included Uthink Youth Development Services CIC, which aims to reduce the amount of visual vandalism in the town of Skemersdale; disabled and life-limited children organisation Sky Badger; and the Garden Classroom, which runs educational sessions and events, focusing on gardening, wildlife, science and the environment.