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.
What’s on offer?
We’ll support you for a year with:
- A free learning programme
- A Match Trading 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 and Big Lottery Fund have funded every place and Match Trading grant on this programme, because they are committed to supporting social entrepreneurs.
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.
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.
When does the programme run?
The programme runs from October 2018 – October 2019.
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.
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.