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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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£500k funding available for social enterprises

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Funding available for social firms working with young people and people with dementia

Scotland’s fledgling socially conscious businesses are being encouraged to bid for loan finance from a new funding initiative.

Some £500,000 is being invested by the Life Changes Trust, a charity working to improve the lives of young people who have had experience of the care system, and people affected by dementia.

Ideas are being sought from any social businesses with creative ideas for new ventures that would impact positively on one or both of these groups.

Each social business can bid for up to £50,000 and will also receive business mentoring support.

The initiative is based on a social investment approach, developed by Big Issue Invest in England, called Corporate Social Venturing (CSV).

Its main objective is to develop sustainable businesses that tackle some of society’s biggest challenges by providing investment and mentoring for new business ventures.

This is a proven way of creating a sustainable social impact - John Montague

It is now being brought to Scotland for the first time in a partnership with the Life Changes Trust, Big Issue Invest and the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI).

Maddy Halliday, chief executive of the Life Changes Trust, said: “The Life Changes Trust has a mission to drive transformational improvements in the quality of life, empowerment and inclusion of two groups in Scotland – people affected by dementia, which also includes unpaid carers, and young people who have experience of the care system.

“CSV Scotland is an exciting opportunity for the trust to invest in new businesses who are going to use their skills, expertise and imagination to deliver improved quality of life for our beneficiary groups.

"We are delighted to be working with Big Issues Invest, SCDI and our corporate partners to bring this exciting initiative to Scotland.”

Corporate partners supporting the initiative in Scotland are Mitie, Barclays and Places for People Scotland Care & Support.

Other corporate partners are also being recruited.

John Montague, director of early stage business at Big Issue Invest said: “It is exciting to branch into new territory with the programme, both in terms of region and sector.

“There has never been a CSV outside of England before, nor has there been one that focuses solely on young people with experience of being in care or those dealing with dementia. Our method of pairing early stage social businesses with corporate mentors who assist them with business planning, finances and pitching for investment is a proven way of creating a sustainable social impact.”

The move is also being backed by SCDI whose chief executive Ross Martn said: "SCDI recognises the socio-economic impact of work with care-experienced young people and, in an ageing population, those families being challenged by dementia. Further action being taken on both these fronts in Scotland is essential for our future economic outputs.”

TFN is celebrating social enterprises this summer. Tweet. post, email us stories and pictures about social enterprises, products and customers using #SocEntSummer



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