Firstport to launch its own social enterprise

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Three young social entrepreneursm Carla Fyfe, Ewan Sinclair and Olivia Robertson, who won £5,000 seed funding from Firstport as part of the 2018 Social Innovation Competition

Scotland's social enterprise support agency is expanding to meet growing demand for its services

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20th March 2019 by Susan Smith 2 Comments

Scotland’s social enterprise support agency Firstport has announced it is launching its own social enterprise.

The organisation has plans to expand to help meet growing demand for its services from a Scottish public increasingly interested in social enterprise.

It is to invest in new staff and technology, and next month will launch its own business arm to help generate income.

In 2018, Firstport supported 1,135 social enterprise ideas and gave out just under £1 million in seed funding. Six new businesses in its accelerator programme raised an additaional £653,000 of investment.

Its new organisational strategy outlines a plan to develp the organisation in order to meet the needs of the growing number of social entrepreneurs seeking support.

Josiah Lockhart, chief executive of Firstport, said: “It is an exciting time for social enterprise as it is no longer confined to the fringes of the business sector or the economy but is increasingly seen as a vital partner in creating a fairer, more prosperous and inclusive Scotland.

“Our experience, backed up with data from our programmes, shows that demand for our services is growing and the makeup of Scottish social entrepreneurs is evolving, which requires a style shift in how we engage with and support entrepreneurs driven by a desire to generate social impact.

“We want to give these individuals the best possible start in their journey and our new strategy will set us on the right path to do just that.”

Well-known social enterprises that have received support from Firstport over the years include Glasgow Locavore, Scotland’s first social enterprise supermarket, sandwich shop chain Social Bite and Hey Girls, a social enterprise which uses a buy-one-give-one model to fight period poverty in the UK.

21st March 2019 by maxxmacc

I'm not surprised Firstport have backed a charity which tackles a non-existent problem (period poverty in the UK.)Our organisation had dealings with Firstport in the past and found them less than helpful.As for funding Social Bite - they are not even a charity!

21st March 2019 by Edward

"The Social Bite Fund (SC045232) is a registered charity in Scotland...Social Bite wholly owns two companies which operate the Social Business model, namely Social Bite...and Vesta Restaurant and Bar..."