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Social ventures in Scotland set to power up

Welcome to Scotland sign

Applications for a lending scheme offering investment and support to 12 social enterprises with £500,000 worth of investment, have opened for early-stage social ventures across Scotland.

Big Issue Invest’s Power Up Scotland programme was first launched in November 2017 and has supported 19 social business to date with a total of close to £500,000.

The programme is funded by partners, abrdnUniversity of EdinburghExperianPlaces for People and the Scottish Government with legal support from Brodies LLP.

Social Stories Club was one of the 19 social enterprises that successfully completed the three-month Power Up Scotland Programme in 2020. Social Stories Club is a speciality gifting company that create gift boxes and hampers. The products in the boxes are all from social ventures and support different social causes.

Karis Gill, co-founder of Social Stories Club, said:

The Big Issue have been enormously supportive of Social Stories Club’s journey helping take us to the next stage. They have hosted our social enterprise gift boxes in The Big Issue Shop, introduced us to key mentors, and awarded us with a loan, which allowed us to have an enormously successful Christmas season. Big Issue Invest is providing essential support to social enterprises like us and have been enormously flexible around our needs.

Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said:

We are really excited about this year’s Power Up Scotland programme.  It’s a tough job starting up a social venture and early stage finance is hard to get.  We are so pleased, working with our brilliant partners in Scotland, to be able to support those organisations with the investment and business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference within their communities in a post-Covid world.

The Power Up programme is open to organisations across Scotland. The funding available is to enable organisations to build on the good work they currently do within their communities. Whether it’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans. Successful applicants will also receive mentoring and business development support to social ventures for the two-year period.

The programme has been designed for early-stage social ventures, regardless of company structure – social enterprises, charities, and private enterprises are all welcome, with social value creation being the key criterion. The expectation is that many applicants will be accessing finance for the first time.

Applications for this year’s Power Up Scotland programme are open until 17th September 2021. To apply, visit www.bigissueinvest/powerup to apply.

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.