What is LaunchMe?
LaunchMe is an investment readiness programme that will prepare you to secure the investment you need to grow and scale your social impact. We will work intensively with you through a bespoke business support programme, including access as needed to workshops, peer group sessions and one-to-one professional expertise.
What is investment readiness?
Investment readiness is the process of preparing your business for growth so that you can leverage funding, investment, and loans to achieve social and commercial impact at scale. Becoming investment ready is an intensive process, and social entrepreneurs can take two months to two years to get there.
Because you want to scale the good work you are already doing, but you need to get your business processes ready for growth and access to the right investors.
As a LaunchMe participant, you can expect the following:
- A bespoke programme of support – We tailor the support to the needs of your business and move at your pace.
- Access to expert training – You’ll attend workshops delivered by experts in different business areas – from social impact to market research and more.
- A peer network – We will bring you together with other LaunchMe participants to share experiences, learn from each other, and foster collaboration.
- Signposting and support to approach loan providers, funders and social investors – we will help you find the right investment options for your growth plans.
- A hands-on, knowledgeable, and dedicated support team that will encourage, challenge and champion you so you get the most out of the programme.
Is LaunchMe for me?
LaunchMe supports social and community enterprises focussed on scaling their impact and prepared to take risks. LaunchMe is for you if you:
- Are ambitious – you want to have a significant impact in Scotland and beyond, and you are ready to start.
- Need finance to reach those ambitions and haven’t secured social investment previously.
- Have already explored/secured early-stage funding (e.g. Start It, Build It).
- Need support to get your business and processes ready to take on investment.
- Are building momentum. For example, you may have high levels of interest in your product or service or can forecast a high demand for your product.
- Can commit to an intensive programme of support. While LaunchMe aims to get you ready for investment within 12 months, progress is flexible to your needs. Every journey and support offer is different; however, as an example, it can take anywhere between 2 months to 2 years to get to where you need to be.
Usually, LaunchMe participants already have some trading history and are ready to take their businesses to the next level. Pre-revenue social enterprises may be suitable for support based on their business model, product, or service growth potential.
Can I apply?
You can apply to LaunchMe if your social/community enterprise meets the criteria below:
- Based in Scotland and operating primarily for the benefit of people, or communities, in Scotland.
- Not involved in political campaigning or the advancement of religion.
- Provides a direct social benefit to individuals, communities and/or the environment.
- Incorporated and with an asset lock (Profits from the enterprise are reinvested in the business and its social aims and cannot be transferred to private individuals or bodies).
- Does not provide services or activities that statutory bodies should provide.
- If applicable, the lead applicant is authorised to represent the enterprise on behalf of the parent organisation/board of trustees and can make decisions about its future direction.
How does it work?
If you are interested in getting investment ready, accessing support from LaunchMe is easy:
- Complete a short Expression of Interest. LaunchMe is open throughout the year, so you can get started when the time is right. Tap this link to complete the Expression of Interest form.
- We will meet with you to learn about your current position and ambitions.
- If we think LaunchMe suits you, we’ll discuss whether the cohort support programme or bespoke one-to-one support is the most appropriate option.
- Get started. You will meet with our Social Investment Relationship Manager regularly on a one-to-one basis. The support length will depend on how much (or little) you need to become investment-ready.
- We invite you to participate in relevant training opportunities and peer group sessions.
- Once you are ready for investment, we’ll connect you with potential investors or signpost you to other funding sources.
Follow this link to meet some of the social enterprises we are helping to get investment ready. You can learn about social enterprises such as Homes for Good and The Workshop Aberfeldy who have previously benefited from taking part in LaunchMe by watching the video below.
Have a question?
Drop us an email on launchme[@]firstport.org.uk.
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