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Entrepreneurs considering applying for the Lloyds School for Social Entrepreneurs Programme have until midday on Thursday 3 April to complete their applications.
The programme provides a fully funded year of learning, a business mentor, and a grant to help individuals launch or grow their social enterprise projects. The Start-up programme offers £4,000 for aspiring entrepreneurs who have a unique idea they would like to pursue, while the Scale-Up programme provides a grant of £15,000 for social entrepreneurs who would like to expand their existing enterprise and achieve maximum social impact.
Interest from social entrepreneurs thinking of applying for the programme is at a record high – over 3,000 people have requested application forms, an increase of 180% on last year, and the number of ‘taster sessions’ that SSE’s regional schools have been running up and down the country has been increased due to popular demand.
However, with over two weeks remaining until the deadline, there is still plenty of time for budding social entrepreneurs to submit an application for the 2014/15 programme. For more information, visit www.yourideastartshere; there is also a dedicated helpline, offering guidance on how to apply and information about the programme.
The Programme plays a vital role in the Lloyds Bank business strategy to help Britain prosper, and is designed to support social entrepreneurs in communities in order to help stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the UK. The bank has committed to supporting 1,300 social entrepreneurs on the programme by 2017, as part of its Helping Britain Prosper Plan commitment to help business to start up and scale up.
Individuals on the 2013/14 programme have developed a wide range of terrific enterprises that have brought substantial benefits to their own communities and further afield. One such project is Working Wool, founded by Emma Hague. By providing platforms for education, small-scale production and knowledge exchange, Bristol-based Emma hopes to help create a more sustainable textile environment in Britain, where wool-working communities are strengthened and incentivised via more accessible sourcing of British wool and manufacture.
Graham Lindsay, Director, Responsible Business, Lloyds Bank, said: “We believe that social entrepreneurs have real potential to deliver a positive impact on society. Our support for this programme is right at the heart of our strategy to help Britain prosper. By providing that rare opportunity of both funding and a year of mentoring and active learning, we are able to help new social enterprises off the ground, and we have been really pleased with the exciting projects we have seen flourish.”
Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “Working in partnership with Lloyds Bank has enabled us to support some of the most dynamic and promising social enterprises in the UK. This year we’re thrilled to be supporting almost 300 individuals with bright ideas for social change and look forward to seeing their enterprises develop over the course of the programme.”