Lloyds & School for Social Entrepreneurs offer £4000 start-up grants for difference

The Programme, which has received additional backing from the Big Lottery Fund, provides practical facilitated learning in addition to financial grants to help new entrepreneurs develop their social enterprise idea.

The Start-up programme offers a £4,000 grant, a year of dedicated training and assigned ‘business mentor’ to aspiring entrepreneurs. While the Scale-Up programme provides a £15,000 grant in addition to learning support and business mentorship to existing social entrepreneurs aiming to expand their enterprise.

Throughout February and March Lloyds Bank and the School for Social Entrepreneurs will host taster sessions across the country to showcase the opportunities on offer to aspiring and existing social entrepreneurs.

Students from the Programme have so far developed scores of unique and exciting enterprises that have helped make significant benefits in their communities and further afield.

Naomi Marek is Founder and Chief Executive of Sky Badger, a web-based charity based near Cambridge that finds help and adventure for disabled children and their families through innovative online and IT-based solutions. Since graduating from the Start-Up programme and enrolling in the 2014/15 Scale-Up programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Sky Badger has gone from strength to strength, seeing it win the prestigious Guardian Charity Award in 2014.

Marek commented: “I was introduced to the School for Social Entrepreneurs programme having been inspired, along with three other mums, to build an online resource dedicated to giving families with specific needs access to information relevant to them. Both the grant and learning opportunities offered by the programme have helped not just my personal development, but have also helped me focus on evolving the business to one that has a truly positive impact on the families we work with. We wouldn’t be in the strong position we are in without my involvement in this programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

“In the last two years, we’re reached over 300,000 families, created 1 full time job, 5 part time jobs, over 80 regular volunteers and increased our income by ten fold. The SSE Start-Up helped us build the foundations of Sky Badger. Now, through the Scale-up programme Sky Badger is learning to fly even higher!”

The Social Entrepreneurs Programme plays a vital role in the Lloyds Bank’s business strategy to Help Britain Prosper, and is dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs in communities across the UK to help stimulate economic growth and regeneration. Since 2012 a total of 748 students have taken part in the Programme, with 429 graduating to date. The Bank maintains commitment to support 1,300 social entrepreneurs by 2017.

Graham Lindsay, Director, Responsible Business and Community Affairs, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “I have seen first-hand the positive impact that social entrepreneurs have in our society, and know of the immense benefit in nurturing their commitment to making a social impact through entrepreneurship. Our partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs sits right at the heart of our business strategy to help Britain prosper and we are eager to hear the new ideas to inspire social change that will come from this year’s recruits.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “Working in partnership with Lloyds Bank has enabled us to support hundreds of the most inspiring social enterprises in the UK. This year we’re thrilled to be supporting even more individuals with a desire to impact social change and look forward to seeing how their enterprises develop and grow.”

If you would like to attend a taster session, visit www.yourideastartshere.co.uk where you can find your nearest location and the relevant dates.