Eighteen social entrepreneurs will next week graduate from an initiative backed by Bank of Scotland in a ceremony to be held at its Edinburgh headquarters.
The students have taken part in a year-long programme featuring a learning programme delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland, a business mentoring scheme and start-up grants of £4,000 from Bank of Scotland.
Donald Gateley, head of private banking at the lender, said: “This year’s cohort made considerable progress since joining the Bank of Scotland social entrepreneurs programme and have demonstrated the positive impact that social entrepreneurs can have on society.
“We are committed to supporting 1,300 entrepreneurs through our social entrepreneurs programme by 2017 and we wish this year’s graduates and the new intake considerable success for the future.”
Tracey Muirhead, chief executive of the School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland, said: “Year on year we are thrilled to see our students and their communities continue to benefit from the support of the Bank of Scotland social entrepreneurs programme.
“We have an outstanding group of social entrepreneurs graduating from the 2014/15 cohort and we look forward to watching their continued success.”
Among those graduating at the ceremony on Tuesday, to held at Bank of Scotland’s head office on The Mound, is Matt Kitson, chief executive of Driftwood Cinema in Wigtown, a mobile cinema aimed at enabling community engagement and social interactions in the region.
He will be joined by Edinburgh-based social entrepreneurs Margaret Nicholson of Holyrood Plumbing & Heating, Hilary Braidwood of Vintage Rehab, Danielle Trudeau of Tribeporty, Emma Picksen of Be-United, Adam Robertson of Kalopsia Collective, Chris Hellawell of The Edinburgh Tool Library, Jill Williams of The Bay Tree Community Café Project, Heather Lucchesi of Light Bulb Arts and Scott Gibson of Sports Pathway Coaching.
In addition, Janie Meikle Bland of Picture the Possible in Stirling will be graduating alongside Glasgow’s Matt Lygate of The Dream Machine, Robert Anderson of Soundinnerspace, Matt von Ferscht-Fountain of Freedom Bakery, Maria Mikicka of Soul Food Sisters and Julia Martin of In Bloom, Paul Rankin of Turnberry-based Luma IT and Tracie Faa-Thompson of Turn About Pegasus in Berwick-upon-Tweed.