Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme 2018 (includes Match Trading grant)

This programme supports people running established organisations that tackle a social or environmental issue, who are planning to increase their trading income to grow. We could support you for a year through the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme, run in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund. We will open applications in spring 2018.

The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme has been running since 2012, and 95% of students say it positively meets their training needs.

I’d like to register my interest

What’s on offer?

We’ll support you for a year with:

  • A free learning programme
  • A Match Trading grant
  • Mentoring
  • 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 and Big Lottery Fund have funded every place and Match Trading grant on this programme, because they are committed to supporting social entrepreneurs.

Florence making jewellery

Florence Norman, Sweet Cavanagh

“SSE has been a place of confidence building and skill honing, but furthermore it’s been the most incredible platform of resources and support.”

Is Trade Up for me?

Trade Up could be right for you if:

  • The purpose of your organisation is to tackle a social or environmental issue.
  • Your project was established at least a year ago, and probably has at least one paid member of staff.
  • You’re planning to grow and increase your trading income.
  • You’re aged 16+.
  • You’re based in the UK and your idea aims to create impact in the UK.

If you are just starting up, try Start Up instead. If your project is more established and looking to scale, try Scale Up.

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.

Here’s our CEO Ali talking about why SSE welcomes you to just be yourself:

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2018 programme will open in spring 2018.

Register your interest to hear when applications open

When does the programme run?

The programme runs from October 2018 – October 2019.

Bike mechanics fixing bikes at the Bike Project

Jem Stein, Bike Project

“The SSE is a unique environment which has provided me with the funding, the network, the skills, and, most importantly, the inspiration to scale up The Bike Project.”

What happens on the 14 learning days?

The Trade Up programme helps you grow your organisation, with a focus on growing through trading.

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 the 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:

  • 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

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.

Register your interest to hear when applications open

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, scaling 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.

How much time will it take?

The 14 learning days happen on one or two-day blocks every four to six weeks, so you have enough time to get on with everything else.

And there isn’t any “homework”! The programme is focused on you, and helping you manage your organisation. Everything you learn will have a practical application to your organisation.

How does the Match Trading grant work?

All students on the Trade Up programme receive a Match Trading grant, thanks to funding from Big Lottery Fund. A Match Trading grant is funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in your trading income (i.e. income that is from sales and trading, rather than from traditional grant). Find out more about the Match Trading grant.

If you join the programme you will be paired with a Grant Manager and the grant will be paid in instalments throughout the programme. Payment of the grant is directly linked to course attendance. There’s more info in the Application Pack below.

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.

Sounds great! How can I hear more?

Register your interest

For 1 Oct, 2018