Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme

A group of people of different ages, genders and ethnicities looking happy with arms up

Important information for applicants:

SSE will endeavor to support applicants during these challenging times. We will consider the impact of Covid-19 when assessing the income criteria. So if you were expecting to have £15,000 income this year, but you are not going to because of Covid-19, please tell us about this in your application form. We will take this into account.

Our recruitment process is now fully online, and other activities will take place online until government guidelines change. You’ll need even greater resilience, skills and networks to survive and thrive in these challenging times. We’ll make sure the learning on this programme meets your needs. 

Given the current economic situation, we are reviewing the way we administer the Match Trading grant, to ensure the funding can support you in the best way possible in these challenging times. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

Please bear this in mind when reading the application guidance notes and making your application.

Applications are open!

You’ve already set up your social enterprise. Now you want to bring in more income from trading, to make your organisation more sustainable and create more impact. You just need a bit of support to figure out how.

We know it’s not always easy to map out strategy when you’re caught up in the day-to-day of running an organisation. This programme will give you the head-space and skills you need to take your organisation to the next level.

Trade Up offers a year of support, including:

  • Free learning programme (14 learning days spread over a year)
  • Match Trading grant of up to £4,000
  • Support network
  • Mentoring

You’ll learn how to develop your income streams, measure your impact, manage staff and volunteers, and build a stronger organisation. And we’ll bring you together with a supportive network of other social entrepreneurs at a similar stage to you.

Based in Scotland?  Click here

Trade Up could be right for you if…

  • You want to make your model more robust and increase your income from trading
  • Your project has been running for at least a year
  • Your project makes at least £15,000 a year (total income, including trading, grant and donations).  See ‘Important information for applicants’ above.
  • Earlier stage than that? Try Start Up. Already have strong foundations, and ready to scale? Try Scale Up

Find out how to apply

Find out how to apply and get the application guidance notes:

Accessibility

If the form above is not accessible to you, or you need any of the information about this programme in another format, please let us know on 0207 089 9120 or LBSEP2020@sse.org.uk and we will do everything we can to accommodate your needs.

Find out more

Hear from Duncan, who has completed the Trade Up programme:

Join a virtual information session

Information sessions are an informal way to learn about the programme and the learning style at SSE. See details below and sign up using the link which will take you to Eventbrite, or Zoom if stated.

London

Thursday 16th April, 3.30pm-4.30pm, virtual

Tuesday 21st April, 11am-12pm, virtual

Midlands

Thursday 16th April, 11am-1pm, virtual via Zoom

Bristol

Wednesday 15th April, 4pm-5pm, virtual

Monday 20th April, 12.30pm-1.30pm, virtual

Tuesday 21st April, 10am-11am, virtual

Thursday 23rd April, phone call application surgery, all day

FAQ

How do I apply?

Complete the form above for next steps.

The deadline for applications is 1pm, Thursday 30th April 2020.

Is Trade Up for me? Am I eligible?

Trade Up could be right for you if:

  • You have set up an effective social enterprise, and plan to increase your income and impact in the year ahead.
  • Your project has been active at least one year, with income of more than £15,000 in the last or current financial year (total income, including trading, grant and donations).  See ‘Important information for applicants’ above.
  • 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.

What are the dates and locations?

The learning programme consists of 12-14 days, spread  over a year, starting in October 2020 and running to October 2021. Typically, you attend for a day or two a month (not including school holidays).

All activities will take place online until government social distancing guidelines change.

In 2020-21, the Trade Up programme will run in the following regions (though you can apply from anywhere in the UK):

  • Scotland
  • South West (Bristol)
  • Yorkshire
  • London

If you need specific course dates, please contact the school you are applying to.

What will I learn?

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.

The Trade Up programme will help you increase your income and impact in the year ahead. You’ll learn how to:

  • 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

You’ll need even greater resilience, skills and networks to survive and thrive in these challenging times. We’ll make sure the learning on this programme is adapted to meet your needs.

You’ll be in a group 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.

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. (This playlist of videos shares the types of stories you’ll hear.)

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.

To help keep you on track, we’ll match you with a mentor from Lloyds Bank.

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 £4,000. The Match Trading grant matches increases in your income from trading and sales, pound-for-pound.

Given the current economic situation, we are reviewing the way we administer the Match Trading grant, to ensure the funding can support you in the best way possible in these challenging times. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

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.

Is all this really free?

Yes! You can use the grant for your project’s running cost and to pay for travel and subsistence to support you in attending the learning programme.  The learning programme and mentoring is fully funded, thanks to funding from our partners Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and The National Lottery Community Fund. The School for Social Entrepreneurs is a charity.

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