Former SSE boss provides dough for community bakery

Ian Marchant said he was interested in the hospitality sector. Picture: Andrew Wilson
Ian Marchant said he was interested in the hospitality sector. Picture: Andrew Wilson
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Edinburgh community bakery Breadshare has secured investment from former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant to franchise its model across Scotland.

The funding was facilitated by social enterprise startup agency Firstport and secured social investment tax relief (SITR), with Marchant describing the latter as an “enabler” rather than an incentive and helping secure his contribution.

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Marchant said the investment was his first in social enterprise, and flagged two features about Breadshare that attracted his attention.

“It is based in my home city and operates in the hospitality industry, a sector that interests me,” he said. “I asked a trusted colleague with a background in the industry to investigate the opportunity further, and after she gave her the seal of approval, I decided to go ahead with the investment”.

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Breadshare, set up by husband-and-wife team Geoff and Debra Crowe, is one of 14 businesses on LaunchMe, Scotland’s first accelerator for early-stage social enterprises. Others include a social-enterprise supermarket and a football coaching provider.