Firstport reveals social firms fast tracked for success

R3 participants (2)

Representatives of the eight firms to get backing from LaunchMe

​Scheme backs start up social firms and invests in their future 

9th May 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A unique programme which fast tracks funding for innovative social enterprises has unveiled eight new organisations benefitting from the scheme.

LaunchMe, Scotland’s only social enterprise accelerator programme, has given support to social firms ranging from Scotland’s first all-female construction company to a project tackling dementia by language teaching.

The scheme supports social enterprises by getting them investment ready, connecting them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns.

In addition to initial seed funding of up to £25,000, participants can also apply for funding of up to £100,000 to match any investment they secure during the three-year programme.

The only programme of its kind in Scotland, LaunchMe has already helped 14 social enterprises to secure further investment and increase their social impact.

The programme has attracted the attention of the Scottish angel investor community and has successfully brokered a number of investment deals worth over £500,000, bringing the total amount of funding raised to over £1 million. 

Some of the enterprises that have benefitted from the programme previously include Social Bite, a sandwich shop chain that helps the homeless, Breadshare, a community bakery in Edinburgh, and Inverness Kart Raceway, an indoor go-karting arena supporting disadvantaged young people into employment.

Karen McGregor, chief executive of Firstport, said: “Over the last two years, we have shown that social enterprises have the potential to achieve scale and bring about more social and economic benefits to communities across Scotland.

“In addition, the programme’s unique way of using grant funding to leverage investment has successfully attracted a number of social investors, pioneering new ways of financing a social return.

“We have introduced the entrepreneurs to new investors who were previously unaware of social enterprise and helped them develop long-term relationships beyond the programme’s lifetime.”