Lloyds Bank Scale Up Programme 2019 (includes Match Trading grant)

Applications open soon! Register your interest below.

You’ve built solid foundations for your social enterprise, charity or impact project, and it’s making more than £75,000 a year.

Now you are ready to significantly scale up through social franchising, increasing your geographical reach or making a step change in impact, through developing new markets or partnerships. (Not quite at that stage yet? Try Trade Up.)

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

  • Learn how to scale your model, with 14 learning days spread over a year.
  • Fund your plans with a Match Trading grant of up to £7,000: funding that matches sales growth pound-for-pound.
  • 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 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.

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 Scale Up for me?

Scale Up can help you if your organisation is well established, and ready to significantly scale up through social franchising, increasing your geographical reach or making a step change in impact, through developing new markets or partnerships.

If you are looking to grow your impact and income from trading and sales, rather than scaling up, you should consider Trade Up.

Scale Up could be right for you if:

  • You have set up an effective social enterprise that has significant impact, and you plan to significantly scale up its social impact.
  • Your organisation is at least two years old, with income of more than £75,000 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:

When and where is the programme?

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

The Scale Up programme will run from London, England, in 2019/20.

What will I learn?

The Scale Up programme will help you learn about:

  • Transitioning from working in the business to working on it
  • Building an effective team and delegating responsibility
  • The drivers to scaling
  • Measuring social impact at scale
  • Tools for developing and sharing evidence
  • Developing your business model for scale
  • Securing a diverse and secure income base
  • Building robust financial processes
  • Demonstrating investment-readiness
  • Developing governance for growth
  • Avoiding burnout and managing change
  • Joining a peer network of scaling organisations
  • Leveraging partnerships for scale

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 of up to £7,000. 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 the National Lottery Community Fund.

Will I have a mentor?

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

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 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. 

Where can I find out more?

Contact us (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm): Applications@sse.org.uk / 020 7089 9120.


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 Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and the National Lottery Community Fund.