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LaunchMe: The search is on

March 26, 2014

A new programme in search of Scotland’s ambitious, early stage social enterprises has opened to applications. LaunchMe is seeking 15 organisations to connect them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns.

This pioneering programme has been designed and delivered by support agency Firstport and is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Social Investment Scotland.

launchme-logoLaunchMe will select a cohort of 15 applicants and will offer them the opportunity to use an £825,000 grant fund to lever in repayable investment. This, together with a tailored programme of support, aims to attract new investors into the sector and build the pipeline of social investment in Scotland, a market still in its infancy.

The application process will culminate in a pitch to a high profile panel of experts.

Karen McGregor, Chief Executive of Firstport, said:  “LaunchMe is a completely new approach to supporting brilliant social enterprise ideas that can achieve rapid scale, bringing about more social benefits to communities across Scotland. We know from our research that the appetite and interest for new types of finance is there and we look forward to uncover and support these ambitious and innovative ideas”.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Firstport to find and support some of Scotland’s most ambitious, early stage social enterprises. We believe that through an intensive programme of combined non-financial and financial support this initiative will accelerate the potential of ambitious early stage social enterprises and stimulate a pipeline of investible ideas in Scotland. It’s an exciting initiative which will bring real benefits to the social enterprise sector and we look forward to a range of organisations applying to be part of this opportunity.”

More information about the programme and information on how to apply are available here.

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