Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme 2019

Applications open soon! Register your interest below.

You’re committed to helping people in need or improving the environment. And you’re in the early stages of setting up a social enterprise, charity or impact project to make it happen.

Now you’d like some support to get things up-and-running.  (If your project already makes more than £15,000 a year, try Trade Up.)

This programme could help you:

  • Learn how to set up and run your organisation: 12 – 14 learning days, spread over a year.
  • Fund your project with a grant of £1,000.
  • 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.

There is no cost to you at any point, thanks to our partners Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Applications open in mid-February 2019. We’ll let you know when applications open if you register below – remember to tick the box opting in to email contact.

Book onto a taster session in your region

Register your interest for 2019-20

Which programme level are you interested in?

Please email me when applications open.
(We promise to only contact you about this programme. Here’s our data protection policy.)


How do I apply?

Register your interest in the programme now to receive an email reminder when applications open on Tuesday 19th February, 2019.

You’ll then be able to apply online.

The deadline for applications is midday on 27th March 2019.

Is Start Up for me?

Start Up could be right for you if:

  • You want to start a project or organisation committed to making a social or environmental impact, in a disadvantaged area or with people in need.
  • Your project is in the planning stages but ready to start, or less than two years old.
  • You don’t yet have any project income, or your project income is less than £15,000 a year.
  • You’re aged 16+.
  • You’re based in the UK and your idea aims to create 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:


When and where is the programme?

The learning programme consists of 12-14 days, spread  over a year, starting in October. Typically, you attend for a day or two a month.

The Start Up programme will run in the following UK locations in 2019/20:

  • London
  • Ipswich
  • Winchester
  • Birmingham
  • East Midlands
  • Liverpool
  • Bristol
  • York
  • Scotland

Start Up returns to Scotland in 2019-20. Register for an email reminder in 2019 when we open applications for Bank of Scotland Start Up 2019-20.

What will I learn?

The Start Up programme helps you to get a new social enterprise up and running.

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

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 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.

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, 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 12-14 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 grant work?

All students on the Start Up programme receive a grant of £1,000, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. (A grant is money to help you start up your project that you don’t have to pay back.)

If you join the programme you will be paired with a grant manager, who’ll help out with any questions you have about your grant. Payment of the grant is directly linked to course attendance.

Will I have a mentor?

Yes, we’ll match you with a mentor from Lloyds Bank or 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.

Is there a cost for me?

There is never any cost to you, thanks to funding from our partners Lloyds Banking Group and the National Lottery Community Fund.

What’s the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is midday on the 27th March 2019. 


Applications have now closed for the 2018-19 programme. We’ll open applications again in early spring 2019 for the 2019-20 programme.

Logo for Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and the National Lottery Community Fund.