LaunchMe is Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator. It is a business support and investment readiness programme that helps ambitious social enterprises to scale and make a greater impact.

Who's it for?

Ambitious social enterprises looking to scale

What do I get?

Intensive business and investment readiness support, plus seed funding

Where do I apply?

Applications are now closed.

Programme Details

What is LaunchMe?

LaunchMe is Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator. It supports ambitious social enterprises to scale and increase their social impact.

The programme selects a cohort of up to eight ambitious social enterprises each year to prepare them for growth and help them secure investment.

If you’re interested in applying for LaunchMe register for one of our information webinars below!

Who is the programme for?

LaunchMe is looking for the next generation of innovative social enterprise visionaries who are focused on scaling their impact and prepared to take risks and work hard.

LaunchMe is for you if you are:

  • A social enterprise: Either a start-up with a scalable idea and big plans for growth; or established social enterprises (up to £200K trading income) looking to develop a new product/service to diversify and grow.
  • A community group: A newly formed or well-established community enterprise looking to develop a product or an asset with the potential to generate significant income and have a positive impact in the local area.
  • Based in Scotland.
  • Looking to scale up your business, product and/or service in the next 6-12 months but needing expert support and investment to realise your ambitions.
  • Motivated and committed to building a scalable business and to engage with the programme of support

What do participants get?

  • Professional Expertise, Training & Advice. We have built a network of industry experts to help you strengthen every area of your business and get you ready to scale – social impact, IP, finance, risk management, digital and more. Every expert session is tailored to the needs of the cohort, so you are getting access to exclusive content and advice that meets your needs.
  • Business Support. Our advisors will work with you on a one-to-one and group basis to put a scale up plan in place. Our advisors are experts in their field and understand the unique drivers for social entrepreneurs, plus they have helped others like you to achieve their growth plans.
  • Peer Support. You will be working with other social enterprises on a similar journey. You will become each other’s sounding board and a safe space to share experiences, ideas, and concerns.
  • Access to Networks & Investment Opportunities. We know that achieving the right funding mix for your scale up plan may require different types of finance. We have supported dozens of social enterprises to scale before, so we have access to lenders and investor networks who can help you achieve your growth plan.
  • Seed Funding. £10,000 repayable grant which you can use towards getting investment ready.

Why Apply?

As we start to adapt and recover, LaunchMe is here to help you pursue your growth plans amidst the uncertainty ahead.

2020 has thrown a curve ball to all of us. As a social enterprise, you may have needed to adapt your business model whilst responding to increased demand from your beneficiaries. Or you may have had to stop trading due to the restrictions, unable to support the communities that rely on your services. 

One thing is certain: social enterprises and charities have never played such an important part in rebuilding communities and local economies.

Programme Criteria

To be eligible for LaunchMe, you must be:

  • One of the types of organisation described in the Who is the programme for section
  • Operating primarily for the benefit of people or communities within Scotland
  • Able to demonstrate a track record of delivering social impact or a strong potential to deliver social impact
  • Ambitious, with clear growth plans but have not yet secured investment to fund your plans
  • Able to commit to a programme of intensive business and investment support
  • Able to complete proposed growth activities in line with investment scheme requirements

How the programme works

LaunchMe is an intensive programme that runs over four phases:

  1. FindMe: 27th October – 5th January 2021.
  2. ChooseMe: This is where the support starts. If we think your plan has potential, you will be ‘longlisted’ and invited to attend our LaunchPad event. This event will take place on the 26th January 2021
  3. ConnectMe: March – November 2021 An intense 9 months of support and hard work to get investment ready.
  4. LaunchMe: The last phase of the programme, where you go and deliver your growth plans.

How we assess your application

We will assess all applications after the deadline. Eligible applications with the greatest potential are ‘longlisted’ and invited to attend our LaunchPad event.

After the LaunchPad, all the longlisted social enterprises get one to one support to develop and strengthen their business plan, which are then submitted for shortlisting.  A final shortlist of around 12 social enterprises go on to pitch to our Expert Panel which selects the final participants.

Have a question?

Give us a call on 0131 564 0331 or email us launchme@firstport.org.uk


  • Ecosystem Map Guide

  • Guidance for applicants 2020

    Please read this document in full before submitting an application.

  • LaunchMe Application Drafting document

    Please use this document to draft your answers before submitting your applicaiton online.


Success stories