The 8 entrepreneurs will use their award money to test social enterprises ideas around Scotland. The ideas include a cleaning service for students, employing homeless and long term unemployed individuals in Edinburgh (Nathan Beresforde, £2,070 award), an online magazine for young South Asian Diaspora in Scotland (Naina Bhardwaj, £1,730 award), a pre-apprenticeship IT programme for school children aged 8-17 focusing on deprived areas of Glasgow (Rashmi Mantri, £2,600 award), a website providing coaching for individuals that can’t usually afford it (Tim Mart, £2,210 award), a construction firm that will tackle gender inequality in the industry and provide affordable homes in Milngavie (Shalinay Raghavan, £3,240 award), a unique training and support service for victims of trauma in Glasgow (Ashley Scotland, £2,700 award), a programme to help young disadvantaged Glaswegians set up businesses supported by public sector and private investment (Johnny Walker, £1,000 award) and an Equine Facilitated Learning project in East Ayrshire (Jane Wilson Forrest, £4,000 award).
Karen McGregor, Chief Executive of Firstport says:
I am very proud that Firstport supports individuals who want to make a different in their community and across Scotland. This latest round of awards shows how dynamic the social enterprise model is and the inspiring commitment of social entrepreneurs: tackling unemployment, providing new skills, regenerating local places and overall enriching local communities with valued products and services. I believe that social entrepreneurs make the world a better place, one social enterprise at a time.
The awards are part of Firstport’s Start It awards programme. The entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5,000 to pilot their business idea. The awards are funded by the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund. As social enterprises, all of these businesses have social or environmental goals. They aim to become financially sustainable and generate profits to re-invest in the cause they support.