Over £170,000 seed funding for new generation of Scottish social entrepreneurs

November 16, 2017

A total of 16 individuals from across Scotland have been awarded funding from the Social Entrepreneurs Fund. The awards were delivered by Firstport, Scotland’s start up social enterprise development agency.

The funding was announced to coincide with Social Enterprise Day (Thursday 16 November), a global day to raise awareness about the impact social enterprises are having around the world.

Ayr social entrepreneur Ross Hunter received a £4451 award to pilot his business, SHOUT! Productions CIC, a film production company and studio providing commercial services, a community cinema and free practical film making workshops.

Ross Hunter, Founder of SHOUT! Productions CIC, said: “Throughout my professional career, I've witnessed first hand the positive impact film can have on communities. We aim to give disadvantaged members of the community a voice and opportunities using this medium. We're delighted that Firstport has believed in SHOUT! Productions, and given us the opportunity to begin this journey.

“We have already started putting the money to good use. This Anti-Bullying Week (13 to 17 November) we are launching our maiden project, the COURAGE! Campaign, an anti-bullying film campaign based all across Ayrshire. We've also started collaborating with fellow Awardees on projects, and the future looks bright for our organisation.”

The awards are part of Firstport’s Start It and Build It awards programmes, funded by the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Other projects funded as part of this latest round include a clothing brand designed by the homeless community in Glasgow, an environmental services business providing training and employability skills in Campbeltown and a project which aims to train disengaged young people to deliver sports coaching to children across the Forth Valley area.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport said: “Social enterprise is a sustainable route to tackling some of Scotland’s most challenging social issues. Businesses and communities across the country are seeing profit not as a way to line people's pockets, but as a tool to invest in the support and resiliency of our communities. I’m delighted that Firstport is able to support a new generation of entrepreneurs to kick start the businesses of the future.”

ENDS

For further information contact Jess Gray, Communications Officer (0131 558 2724 jess@firstport.org.uk)

Firstport
Established in 2007, Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise. We offer a full package of free business support and resources that includes start-up funds, business advice, practical tools and connections.

Firstport delivers an awards programme, which distributes money from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Firstport is also part of the Just Enterprise consortium, with responsibility for providing business support to start-up social enterprises across Scotland. This includes one-to-one consultations and a range of workshops and training events.

Social Entrepreneurs Fund
Since 2009, the Social Entrepreneurs Fund has made 536 awards and distributed £3.9 million across Scotland. In April 2017, the Scottish Government announced that funding for the Social Entrepreneurs Fund will double to £1 million for each of the next three years.

Start It awards are for people who have an innovative business idea that tackles a range of different social issues within their communities. Budding entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5000 of start-up costs to pilot their idea.

Build It awards are for people who have already piloted their idea. Candidates can apply for up to £20 000 of funding and must demonstrate that their enterprise can generate income and deliver strong social outcomes. In exceptional circumstances, we will consider funding up to a further £5,000 for additional essential costs, such as hiring other staff.