Three of the seven social entrepreneurs who have been awarded, Greg Lennon, Sara Hawkins and Denise McNulty
The seven entrepreneurs will use their award money to test social enterprises ideas around Scotland.
The entrepreneurs’ ideas include UPBEAT Theatre Company that uses drama, performance and the theatre experience to create community cohesion and tackle antisocial behavior in Glasgow (Stacey Norwood, £3,000), Tech Bank which will repair and up-cycle used smart technology to distribute to disadvantaged and disengaged groups, promoting employment and training opportunities in North Lanarkshire (Greg Lennon, £3,500) and ActivNess, an affordable coaching service and a website that will promote local fitness activities and offer free taster sessions for members (Malcolm MacSween, £3,820).
Winning the award means being able to develop an idea into something tangible. It’s not only a financial boost but a confidence boost to know that others have seen potential in you and your idea.
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.
Karen McGregor, Chief Executive of Firstport says:
I am very pleased that Firstport is supporting people at the start of their entrepreneurial journey, enabling them to test their ideas. The variety of ideas shows that social enterprise can be applied to any sector and tackle a range of issues in innovative ways. We believe that they will take their ideas forward and turn them into sustainable businesses, adding to the pool of successful social enterprises in Scotland.
The other entrepreneurs’ ideas are:
- Run It, a gym in Edinburgh, which will help individuals overcome depression, anxiety and other issues through exercise and fitness activities (Sara Hawkins, £3,000)
- The Scottish Make-up Artists Creative Agency which will provide educational opportunities in make-up artistry to young people from underrepresented and marginalised groups (Denise McNulty, £3,718),
- The Apprentice Store, which will provide employment and training, whilst addressing the skills gap in the Scottish IT industry through a unique approach to apprenticeships (David Massey, £3,200)
- A media planning and buying company which will offer opportunities to people affected by mental ill-health (Rhiannon McQuade, £2,500).