Support for social entrepreneurs

Support for social entrepreneurs
Big Lottery Scotland

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director Jackie Killeen talks about our commitment to social enterprises:

“Over the last 12 months myself and colleagues at the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland have spent time listening to social enterprises, sector leaders, and investors in social enterprises to hear how investment opportunities for social enterprises in Scotland could be improved.

“We have taken part in useful conversations about how our Lottery funding might help to meet the investment aspirations of enterprises at different stages in their growth, and how to best match support and funding from ourselves and others to the great ideas that are out there.

“Today I’m really pleased to share details of three new initiatives which we believe add value to what is already on offer to the social enterprise sector in Scotland.

Big Lottery Fund in partnership with Social Investment Scotland will create a new accelerator fund for early stage social enterprises in Scotland

“We want to support early stage social enterprises in Scotland that have the potential to rapidly take their business model to scale. We think that some early stage social enterprises could accelerate their potential through an intensive programme of combined non-financial and financial support. We would also like to connect those interested in investing for social impact with those early stage social enterprises that need capital to achieve positive social change.

“Both Big Lottery Fund and Social Investment Scotland will be cornerstone investors in this initiative and today we are jointly starting the search for a partner who will deliver the Accelerator Fund on our behalf.

“We are seeking a delivery partner with national reach who can find exciting early stage social enterprises through innovative campaigns, provide wraparound support, administer and manage grant funding, and actively engage with investor networks to complete individual funding packages with repayable or other forms of finance.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland will fund a new community shares support service

“Our Scotland Committee has now committed to funding a new community shares support service, with the aim of increasing understanding and capability of this model of local finance-raising that can enable an enterprise within a community to start, grow and be sustainable. We are finalising plans for this and will share more details in the coming weeks.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland will deliver a social investment readiness pilot

“We are beginning a small scale investment readiness pilot project that could help our own existing grant holders get ready to access significant repayable investment from other funders, if it’s right for them.

So what now?

“These new initiatives will complement existing funding and support – especially Scottish Government-funded schemes like Just Enterprise, Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers, the Social Entrepreneurs Fund and the new Enterprise Growth Fund. We will be releasing more details of how our initiatives will work in coming weeks.

“It’s important to note that these new plans do not replace our continuing commitment and funding for social enterprises right across our funding portfolio, whether that’s accessing up to £10k to pilot a new enterprise through Investing in Ideas; using larger grants to acquire and develop a community enterprise asset through Growing Community Assets or grow a social business that employs people from outside the labour market through Life Transitions.

“Our mission remains focussed on bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. We believe social enterprises have great potential to achieve this, and with these new initiatives our goal is to support the development and growth of organisations to enable them to have even greater impact. We are looking forward to working with a range of partners in taking forward these new plans.”

For more information about Big Lottery Fund, Scotland and our funding go to or email