Applications for the 2017 programme have now closed.
You can express your interest in the 2018 programme below – scroll to the bottom of this page.
We will open applications in spring 2018 for the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme 2018, run in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund. This programme supports people based in the UK with the beginnings of an organisation that could improve a community or tackle a social issue – people passionate about helping other people or the environment.
This programme has supported hundreds of social entrepreneurs since launching in 2012, and 95% of students say it positively meets their training needs.
What’s on offer in 2018?
- A free learning programme
- A grant
- A community of people who run social and environmental projects
There is no cost to you at any point.
Is it really free?
Yes! Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Big Lottery Fund have funded every place and grant on this programme, because they are committed to supporting social entrepreneurs.
Is Start Up 2018 for me? Am I a social entrepreneur?
Start Up could be right for you if:
- You want to start up an organisation whose purpose is to tackle a social or environmental issue, and you’ve thought about how it’d work long-term.
- Your project is in the planning stages but ready to start.
- You’re aged 16+.
- You’re based in the UK and your idea aims to create impact in the UK.
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 – we welcome everyone, including ex-offenders.
- You education or experience – you don’t need any qualifications to apply.
- Any special needs – we strive to include everyone we can.
Find out more about eligibility in the Guidance Notes by downloading the Application Pack at the bottom of this page.
How do I apply?
We will open applications for the 2018-19 programme in spring 2018. Scroll to the bottom of this page to register your interest and be notified when we open applications.
When does the 2018 programme run?
The programme runs from October 2018 – October 2019.
Where can I do the programme?
The Start Up programme will run in locations across the UK. We will confirm locations in early 2018.
What happens on the 14 learning days?
The Start Up programme helps you develop your plans into a sustainable organisation with a clear vision for creating social impact.
Our learning programmes are 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 type of story you might hear – and this playlist of videos provides 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.
You’ll learn about how to:
- Set up your organisation, using a suitable legal structure
- Make money and develop your business model
- Manage finances
- Develop your impact and purpose
- Keep a work/life balance
- Build networks
- Do marketing and social media
- Build confidence in your leadership skills
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 people at a similar stage to you, starting up a social or environmental project.
You’ll also form an ‘Action Learning Set’ with some of them, which helps you reflect and develop in a trusted circle.
Here’s a video that explains Action Learning:
Our students really value these connections with each other: 19 in 20 students stay in touch with people they met at SSE after they finish the programme.
Will I have a mentor?
Yes, we’ll match you with a mentor from Lloyds Bank or (in Scotland) Bank of Scotland.
These mentors are business experts who are excited about social enterprise and start-ups. They volunteer their time to help you develop your organisation and overcome challenges. They can often make useful introductions too.