Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme

Applications have now closed

This programme aims to give social entrepreneurs the best possible chance of success, particularly during these challenging times, through access to support, learning and funding. We will equip you with the knowledge, skills and networks to increase income from trading and financial resilience for a greater social and/or environmental impact. 

The Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme is run in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, the Scottish Government, and the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

Key benefits:

  • Free learning programme made up of eight learning days (online and in-person), and four small Action Learning Sets which will be spread between January 2023 and December 2023 in both full day and half-day sessions. 
  • £7,000 Match Trading grant 
  • A community of like-minded people to meet regularly and work through challenges 

Our programmes are based on peer and action-learning. We’re definitely not about textbooks and teachers. Instead, we help you to get the headspace you need to map out next steps, with the support of other leaders facing similar challenges.

Who should apply?

We’re looking for people leading a project or organisation with social or environmental purpose and realistic plans to increase their income through trading. Your organisation should have an annual income of more than £15,000.

You must be based in Scotland with the majority of your beneficiaries are based there too. 

When and where does the programme take place?

The programme comprises eight days of learning and four Action Learning Sets between January 2023 and December 2023.

Our aim (dependent upon Covid restrictions at the time) is to run a blended learning approach, offering a mix of online and on-site learning. The on-site learning will take place in Scotland – specific location to be confirmed. There will be an access budget to support participants’ travel and accommodation where required.

We recognise that discrimination of all sorts infiltrates every part of our society, and we are working hard to counter that wherever we find it. To that end, we actively encourage applications from people of all faiths, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances and backgrounds, as well as those from disabled communities. No educational qualifications are needed to join our programmes.

The Match Trading grant

We want to support you to improve your financial sustainability by increasing your income from trading and sales. To help you do this, we will set aside up to £4,000 of funding for your organisation as part of this programme. 

You’ll get:

  • An initial Match Trade grant of £2,000 in advance to support you to put into practice new ideas and initiatives.   
  • Plus, up to a £5,000 grant that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. This is a Match Trading grant to accelerate recovery and growth. Learn more about Match Trading here.  
  • The Match Trading element of the grant will be paid in instalments on a quarterly basis and will be matched against an increase in trading. The increase will be measured against a baseline that we will set with you. For some organisations, this baseline could be very low, i.e., close to zero.   

You can read more about our innovative Match Trading here