LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO BENEFIT AS UK SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS SECURE SUPPORT
The first 150 social entrepreneurs from across the country are set to improve their local communities after securing positions on the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme.
Successful enterprises include a company offering affordable recycled carpeting to those on low-incomes, and an initiative encouraging entrepreneurialism in schools.
These are just some of the first social enterprises involved in the programme which will distribute £846,000 in grants this year alone and could ultimately benefit nearly one million people and generate up to 2,500 jobs with a value of £11m** over five years.
The winners selected so far have demonstrated their determination to improve their local communities, fight social inequality and deprivation.
The programme will provide financial support via grants and funds educational training at one of the eight Schools for Social Entrepreneurs. Over 750 new (Start Up) and existing (Scale Up) individuals will benefit from the programme over the next five years and help them in their learning and development of socially beneficial projects.
The initiative has been made possible thanks to a major funding commitment from Lloyds Banking Group and additional investment from Nominet Trust.
Over 700 Social entrepreneurs applied for this year's programme. In order to decide which 150 will qualify for this year’s support, selection panels are taking place around the eight SSE regional schools across the UK.
As well as funding their placement at one of the SSE schools, each student in the Start Up category will benefit from a grant of £4,000 to support the development of their project, with those successful in the Scale Up category scooping £15,000. Alongside this financial support, and to increase the success rate of each student, a mentor is being provided by Lloyds Banking Group for each candidate for 12 months.
Events have already taken place in London to recognise the first tranche of Start Up and Scale Ups, with seven more events scheduled to take place across the country until the end of September.
Winners so far have included:
- Lyn Terrie Johnston, Fruit to Suit, Wirral & Liverpool
Fruit to Suit is a social enterprise designed to encourage entrepreneurialism in schools through a tuck-shop system selling healthy snacks and drinks. The programme works to change the perception of what successful business men and women look like to help give young people the confidence to believe they can run their own businesses.
- Neil Dunsire, TAPE Music and Film, North Wales
TAPE Community Music and Film helps people from all walks of life explore their talent and creativity in a safe and supportive environment through workshops, performances and organised activities.
- Ellen Petts, Cleanstream Carpets, Cardiff
The business was established by Ellen Petts in order to provide people who can’t afford flooring with recycled carpet tiles diverted from landfill sites, befitting local communities environmentally, socially and economically.
- Tracy Murdoch, Kidzeco, West Lothian
Kidzeco recycles baby and children’s goods for the local community at affordable prices. The social enterprise also teaches new skills in arts and crafts and encourages young mothers to breast feed through provision of its parenting room.
Alastair Wilson, CEO of the SSE, said: “Without exception, the judges were bowled over by the dedication and vision of the social entrepreneurs who applied for the programme. They truly are a credit to their communities and are doing vital work to help those who need it most.”
Paul Turner, Communities and Sustainable Business Director, at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We are delighted to be supporting UK social enterprises with the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme. We recognise that if we aspire to be the best bank for our customers we must also be the best bank for our communities.
“Investing in this programme demonstrates The Group’s commitment to help Britain prosper by supporting enterprise and strengthening our communities.”
Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust adds: “At a time of severe economic constraints, it is more crucial than ever that we recognise and encourage social innovation. Digital technology offers us new and imaginative ways to make society better and we are delighted to see social entrepreneurs on this programme demonstrating how it can provide radical new solutions to some of our communities long-standing problems.”