Firstport launches £500k for environmental social enterprises

Firstport has launched its £500,000 Boost It fund which offers innovative finance to environmental social enterprises.

Firstport launches £500k for environmental social enterprises

Josiah Lockhart, chief executive of Firstport

The new programme from the Social Entrepreneurs Fund has opened for applications this week.

Delivered by social enterprise agency Firstport and funded by the Scottish Government, Boost It will support social enterprises in Scotland to strengthen their businesses so they can successfully sustain trading.

Boost It will offer awards between £30-50K to social enterprises responding to the climate emergency and environmental issues. Unlike other existing funds by the Social Entrepreneurs Fund, Boost It awards 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 go back into the programme, allowing Firstport to support more social enterprise ideas to get off the ground.

Josiah Lockhart, chief executive of Firstport, said: “We are excited to be opening this new, innovative fund. 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. In addition, many times social entrepreneurs do not feel ready, or confident enough, to access social investment.

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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