Shifting London

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Supporting underrepresented groups and growing businesses for good to drive innovation 

SSE are on a mission to shift how things work in our capital.  

Shifting London will support future social entrepreneurs of London in developing ideas to build businesses for good, while exploring new opportunities. We will be giving people the tools and knowledge needed to succeed. SSE believe in giving power and agency back to local leaders, as we know that these people, with lived experience and community roots, are best placed to drive impact. 

We’re reaching out to people who want to make a change in London, and we’re doing this with the help of funding from GLA UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the Levelling Up initiative, working alongside our partners; Inclusion London and Shpresa. 

Why “Shifting London”?  

We believe that too much fixing goes on in public policy, and not enough shifting. To take a problem and think that we can make it better just by trying to fix it will almost certainly fail and the outcome will be insignificant because the system isn’t right 

The answer is in shifting how things work.  

Making small, sustainable changes to make big differences. Shifting can then have a snowball effect rather than hoping to fix everything in one go.

Shifting London takes people from the seed of an idea right through to making your business for good a profitable social enterprise with the help of great learning and a grant based upon trading income. 


We’re aiming to empower under-represented communities and drive innovation in important, growing sectors. Shifting London is about sparking change and creating opportunities for growth in:  

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The Shifting London Workshops

The Shifting London Workshops support people to continue to explore opportunities within the local and social economy developing the key skills required to start up a social enterprise or business for good.  

Who is it for? The Shifting London Workshops are for people in the early stages of setting up a social or environmental impact project, social enterprise or charity (we call this the start up stage) or for those who running or working for a more established social enterprise. The workshops are free to attend. Any number of workshops can be attended. No application or assessment process is necessary. 

The Shifting London Workshops will be launched in Spring 2024 and will run until November 2024.

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The Shifting London Festival

The Shifting London Festival, was an exciting free event that aimed at empowering under-represented communities and drive innovation in important and growing sectors.

Find out more about the Shifting London Festival

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The Shifting London Pre-festival Sessions

Shifting London kicked off with a series of online Pre-festival Sessions aimed at people wanting to start their own business for good.

Over the summer we ran a series of pre-festival workshops so people could explore ideas for sparking change and creating opportunities for growth within your communities.  


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The Shifting London Learning Programme

The Shifting London Learning Programme  is a social economy growth programme. It runs for 12 months and there are 2 cohorts:

  1. Start up: For people in the early stages of setting up a social or environmental impact project, social enterprise or charity
  2. Trade up: For people looking to explore other markets and looking for new ways to expand with the help of additional Match Trading® funding

The learning programme will help people: 

  • Learn how to run a business and adapt to changes. Learn how to handle rising prices and the cost of living. 
  • Learn how to handle your emotions, gain respect, and become a powerful local leader. 
  • Make connections with other social entrepreneurs and build a supportive community. 

The Shifting London Learning programme is no longer taking applications.

Find out more about the Learning programme.


 A green economy is a way of doing things that helps people live better lives and treats everyone fairly, while also taking care of the planet. It’s different from the way we usually do things, which often makes some people poorer, creates a lot of waste, uses up resources too quickly, and causes big problems for nature and our health. In the last ten years, governments around the world have started to see the green economy as something really important to focus on. 

A circular economy is a different way of making and using things that helps us produce less waste and pollution. Instead of constantly taking new resources, making things, using them, and throwing them away, we try to reuse, repair, refurbish, and recycle materials and products for as long as we can. 

This new way of doing things is an alternative to the old way called the linear economy. In the linear economy, we just keep using up resources and creating waste without thinking about the consequences. 

The circular economy can actually help us solve big problems like climate change, the loss of plants and animals, and social issues. It does this by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere and by creating more prosperity, jobs, and resilience in our communities. 

Shifting London is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

Find out more information about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund