Social business Catch22 has been awarded £448,000 of National Lottery funding to help 10 start-up social enterprises develop their ideas for reforming public services.
The grant, awarded by the Big Lottery Fund, will give individuals and their teams the chance to work across Catch22’s London and Liverpool offices over the next two years.
So far, Catch22 is incubating five organisations with ideas for making public services more effective. These are: Lighthouse, London Village Network, OWLS, The Difference, and Unlocked Graduates.
Catch22 expect the organisations to be with them for approximately 24 months but is providing each venture with the flexibility to grow in the way and at the rate that suits them and the market they are operating within.
Entrepreneurs coming onto the programme will have access to stipend and cost reimbursement funding during their initial 12 months early stage incubation. In the second 12 months – growth stage acceleration – Catch22 will expect the ventures to have found additional supporters while continuing to access the organisation’s expertise, back-office, and desk space. At the end of this time it is hoped that the ventures will have achieved sustained funding, or come to a longer-term agreement with Catch22.
The programme will also work with national funders, including Big Lottery Fund, to try and break down the funding barriers faced by these ventures.
Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22 said:
“As a large charity, Catch22 has a responsibility to be at the forefront of transforming services and enabling change. It’s not just about money and contracts, to achieve a strong society we must also collaborate, be creative and use assets, networks and expertise for the greater good. Start-up social enterprises should not be left to ‘sink or swim’. Sometimes they just need a leg up, and it’s on us as sector leaders to give them that.”
Gemma Bull, Director at the Big Lottery Fund said:
“People with real life experience of issues are well placed to know how best overcome the challenges, so it’s great that through this project entrepreneurs with lived experience will get support to put their ideas into action. We’re pleased that National Lottery funding can help to give these social entrepreneurs the time and space to see the bigger picture and bring them together with organisations that share a similar vision and values, to achieve their goals.”
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