How do I apply?
Applications have now closed for the 2018-19 programme. We’ll open applications again in early spring 2019 for the 2019-20 programme.
Is Trade Up for me?
Trade Up could be right for you if:
You have set up an effective social enterprise in Scotland, and plan to increase your income and impact in the year ahead.
Your project has been active for at least one year, with income of more than £15,000 in the last or current financial year.
You’re aged 16+.
You’re based in the UK and your project mainly creates impact in the UK.
You’re committed to attending the learning programme.
We’re not worried about:
Whether you’d call yourself a “social entrepreneur” – the key is that your idea or organisation is committed to helping those in need or improving a community.
Your background, education or experience – we welcome people from all backgrounds, of all abilities, and we make no judgements on your past.
Here’s more from our CEO Ali:
VIDEO When and where is the programme?
The learning programme consists of 14 days, spread over a year, starting in October. Typically, you attend for a day or two a month.
The Trade Up programme runs in Edinburgh in 2018-19, but applications are now closed for this programme.
You might also be interested in our
Trade Up locations in England. What will I learn?
The Trade Up programme will help you increase your income and impact in the year ahead. You’ll learn how to:
Refine your social impact measurement
Develop the link between your trading and your impact goals
Develop your business plan and income streams
Test and refine your marketing
Grow your customer base
Improve your financial management
Manage staff and volunteers
Project-manage and delegate
Improve your leadership skills
Develop your networks
You’ll be in a group of around 20 people who are at a similar stage to you, starting up a social or environmental project. (More info below.)
Our learning programmes are very different to traditional teaching. We’re not about essays and academia. We believe in learning from other people’s stories. You’ll hear from inspiring social entrepreneurs who speak frankly about the good, the bad and the ugly of running an organisation.
Here’s the type of story you might hear, and
playlist of videos shares plenty more:
We’ll also introduce you to experts to help you develop new skills. You’ll build a network of peers and professionals who can support you.
The course is a transformational experience that will push, challenge and support you. It will give you the confidence and skills to create the impact you’re aiming for.
Who are the people I’ll be learning with?
You’ll be in a cohort of around 20 other social entrepreneurs at a similar stage to you, from all backgrounds. You’ll form an ‘action learning set’ that helps you reflect and develop in a trusted circle.
Here’s a video that explains action learning:
These trusted relationships with other social entrepreneurs are really important to our students: 19 in 20 students stay in touch with people they met at SSE after they finish the programme.
How much time will it take?
The 14 learning days are normally run in one or two-day blocks that happen every six to eight weeks, so you have enough time to get on with everything else.
You’ll also meet with a mentor four times throughout the year, when it’s convenient for you both.
How does the Match Trading grant work?
We want to support you to increase your income from trading and sales.
So as part of this programme, you have access to a Match Trading™ grant. The Match Trading grant matches increases in your income from trading and sales, pound-for-pound.
Check out the video below, and read more about how
Match Trading supports social entrepreneurs to increase their sales.
Match Trading™ was developed by the School for Social Entrepreneurs with the support of pioneer partners Lloyds Banking Group and Big Lottery Fund.
Will I have a mentor?
Yes, we’ll match you with a mentor from the Bank of Scotland.
These mentors are business experts who are excited about social enterprise. They volunteer their time to help you develop your organisation and overcome challenges. They can often make useful introductions too.
Is there a cost for me?
There is never any cost to you, thanks to funding from our partners Bank of Scotland and Big Lottery Fund Scotland.
What’s the deadline to apply?
Applications have now closed for the 2018-19 programme. We’ll open applications again in early spring 2019 for the 2019-20 programme. Where can I find out more?