Twenty social enterprises from across Scotland have kicked off a match-up funding programme.
The Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme is the first time the new funding scheme called Match Trading has been used in Scotland.
It is backed by Bank of Scotland in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Scotland and jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Scottish Government.
Match Trading encourages social entrepreneurs to focus on growing their income from trading.
The Match Trading grant unlocks a pound-for-pound match, to a cap of £5,000 on this programme, for any additional income from trading the organisation generates, compared to their previous year’s income.
The Trade Up programme forms a key part of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to helping Britain prosper.
The programme provides entrepreneurs with financial support, a comprehensive learning programme with SSE focused on growing trading income and a mentor from Lloyds Banking Group.
David Rowsell, head of community engagement programmes at Lloyds Banking Group, said, “We believe that by supporting individuals to start and develop social businesses to solve the most pressing issues within their local communities, we are helping to drive economic growth across the UK and deliver on our ambition to help Britain prosper.
“We’re delighted to welcome this cohort of community business leaders to the Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme and look forward to helping them on their business journey.”
Tracey Muirhead, CEO of SSE Scotland, explains: “All too often we see social enterprises and community businesses become dependent on external funding to keep their organisations going. We want to help them shift the balance so they’re more self-reliant, generating more of their own income from the services and products they provide.”
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Scotland is considered to have a world leading support system for our social enterprises and programmes like this will allow them to expand and become more self-reliant.
“From healthy food and drink to ethical textile production, outdoors education to digital inclusion, all these enterprises have a specific social mission and reinvest all their profits back into the community.
“As part of Scotland’s ten-year social enterprise strategy, I’m delighted the Scottish Government is supporting this innovative programme.
“Next year, we will carry out a national census of social enterprise to ensure we continue to provide the best possible support to this growing sector.”