Firstport launches £500,000 Scottish social enterprise fund

Firstport has launched a £500,000 fund to support Scottish social enterprises targeting environmental issues.

Firstport chief Josiah Lockhart said Boost It allows social entrepreneurs to strengthen their trading. Picture: Chris Watt

Boost It, a new programme from the agency’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund, will offer awards of £30,000 to £50,000 to social businesses responding to climate emergency and environmental issues.

The funds will be offered as “repayable grants”, with recipients paying back a small proportion of their profits over a period of three years. All repayments will be recycled into the programme.

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The funding was originally announced by the Scottish Government in October as part of a £1.8 million investment package to support projects bringing about change in their communities.

Firstport chief Josiah Lockhart said: "Having delivered the Social Entrepreneurs Fund for ten years, we know there is often a funding gap after our two existing levels of awards - social entrepreneurs have realised their ideas have potential and have decided to turn them into their full-time jobs, but they are still far from achieving sustained trading.

"Boost It fills this gap by providing social entrepreneurs with a further level of support so they can strengthen their trading, whilst introducing repayable finance for those who may go on to seek investment to scale.

"The climate emergency is one of the most pressing issues of our generation and we aim to unlock the potential of Scottish social enterprises to address this challenge.”

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