Funding and support offered for Scotland's social entrepreneurs

Social enterprise start-ups in Scotland have been offered a helping hand with the launch of funding and support packages.

Audrey Mutongi, founder and chief executive of The No1 Care Agency, a Glasgow-based social enterprise offering a bespoke, home-based care service.

Awards from £500 to £15,000 are on offer, alongside a package of one-to-one and peer support, from UnLtd Scotland, which said its mission was to “find, fund and support” social entrepreneurs north of the Border.

The firm is actively encouraging applications from people who identify as black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background (Bame), and disabled people. It is also “keen to support those with direct experience of the social issues they are looking to solve.”

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Thomas McAlister, UnLtd Scotland support manager, said: “The virus, the economic crash and inaccessible support are hitting vulnerable communities the hardest.

“The societal impact of Covid-19 is already proving long-term and wide-ranging, with an alarming rise in youth unemployment, a devastating increase in inequality and the attrition in people’s health, wellbeing and sense of connection.

“We believe social entrepreneurs, particularly those with lived experience of these challenges, have powerful solutions to these issues, while also offering meaningful jobs, sustainable finances and a more inclusive recovery. We’re here to help them start or grow their ideas.”

One Scottish social entrepreneur that has already been supported by the firm is Audrey Mutongi, founder and chief executive of The No1 Care Agency, a Glasgow-based social enterprise offering a bespoke, home-based care service.

Its services include live-in and overnight care, and respite and half-day packages, mainly in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, although staff have travelled as far afield as the Hebrides to provide live-in care.

Mutongi recently received a £15,000 UnLtd Scotland Grow It award which will enable her to grow the agency.

She said: “We are delighted to receive this funding and support from Unltd Scotland to help us grow the business.

“We are also keen to work with other organisations, through UnLtd’s Solutions for an Ageing Society who deliver good care creatively and hear how they have overcome challenges such as tendering processes with local authorities to generate growth.”

The awards on offer include Try it awards to support social entrepreneurs to test their ideas, Do It awards to help people get started and create a clear social impact, and Grow It awards aimed at helping entrepreneurs already thriving to “build a sustainable financial model”.

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