Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme 2020

Three women of different ages and ethnicities sit smiling in a row with notebooks, learning

 Important information for applicants:

SSE will endeavor to support applicants during these challenging times. We will consider the impact of Covid-19 when assessing the income criteria. So if you were expecting to have £15,000 income this year, but you are not going to because of Covid-19, please tell us about this in your application form. We will take this into account.

Our recruitment process is now fully online, and other activities will take place online until government guidelines change. You’ll need even greater resilience, skills and networks to survive and thrive in these challenging times. We’ll make sure the learning on this programme meets your needs. 

Given the current economic situation, we are reviewing the way we administer the Match Trading grant, to ensure the funding can support you in the best way possible in these challenging times. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

Please bear this in mind when reading the application guidance notes and making your application.

Applications are now open!

You’ve been running a social enterprise, charity or impact project in Scotland for at least a year, and it’s making more than £15,000 a year.  See ‘Important information for applicants’ above.  (Earlier stage than that? Try Start Up. More established? Try Scale Up.)

Now you want to make your model more robust and increase your sales.

That’s where we come in. Our programme could help you:

  • Learn how to strengthen your model and grow through sales, with 14 learning days spread over a year.
  • Fund your plans with a Match Trading grant of up to £5,000: funding that matches sales growth pound-for-pound. See ‘Important information for applicants’ above.
  • Get to know other social entrepreneurs, who’ll support your plans and help you through tough times.
  • Be supported by a one-to-one mentor.

Not in Scotland? Click here

Find out how to apply

Find out how to apply and get the application guidance notes:

Accessibility

If the form above is not accessible to you, or you need any of the information about this programme in another format, please let us know on 0207 089 9120 or LBSEP2020@sse.org.uk and we will do everything we can to accommodate your needs.

Find out more

Discover how SSE Scotland supported Indie Flynn, founder of Square Peg:

Join an online information session

Information sessions are an informal way to learn about the programme and the learning style at SSE. See details below and sign up using the link which will take you to Eventbrite.

Thursday 9th April, 10-11am, virtual

Friday 17th April, 10-11am, virtual

Tuesday 21st April, 10-11am, virtual

FAQs

How do I apply?

Complete the form above for next steps.

The deadline for applications is 1pm, Thursday 30th April 2020.

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. We will consider the impact of Covid-19 when assessing the income criteria. So if you were expecting to have £15,000 income this year, but you are not going to because of Covid-19, please tell us about this in your application form. We will take this into account.
  • You’re aged 16+.
  • You’re based in the UK and your project mainly creates impact in the UK.
  • You’re committed to taking part in 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.

When and where is the programme?

The learning programme consists of 14 days, spread over a year, starting in October 2020. Typically, you attend for a day or two a month. All activities will take place online until government guidelines on social distancing change.

The Trade Up programme runs in Edinburgh.

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
  • Win contracts
  • Improve your financial management
  • Manage staff and volunteers
  • Project-manage and delegate
  • Improve your leadership skills
  • Develop your networks

You’ll need even greater resilience, skills and networks to survive and thrive in these challenging times. We’ll make sure the learning on this programme is adapted to meet your needs.

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.

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®. The Match Trading grant matches increases in your income from trading and sales, pound-for-pound.

Given the current economic situation, we are reviewing the way we administer the Match Trading grant, to ensure the funding can support you in the best way possible in these challenging times. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

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 the Big Lottery Community Fund.

Is all this really free!

Yes! You can use the grant for your project’s running cost and to pay for travel and subsistence to support you in attending the learning programme.  The learning programme and mentoring is fully funded, thanks to funding from our partners Bank of Scotland and The National Lottery Community Fund. The School for Social Entrepreneurs is a charity.