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Funding opportunities for social entrepreneurs, carbon footprint reducing, & emerging artists

Melanie May | 11 March 2021 | News

Three opportunities for grants: for social entrepreneurs, to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, and for emerging artists. 

10th round of Lloyds Bank & Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme opens

The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme has opened its 10th round of applications, which is open until Friday 16 April.

The programme offers grants of up to £7k grants, and is run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and jointly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the Scottish Government.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Supporting people in starting and growing innovative social impact organisations, previous participants include Josh Turner, founder of Stand4Socks For every pair of socks sold, a portion of revenue is donated to a good cause, and Cemal Ezel, founder of Change Please: ethically sourced coffee served by the recently homeless.

Anyone can apply and no educational qualifications are necessary, with priority given to:

People in the early stages of starting up a social enterprise, charity or community project can apply to the Start Up level of the programme, which offers a grant of £1,000 as well as a support network, a mentor and a learning programme (14 days over a year) to help turn their ideas into reality.

Established social entrepreneurs can apply to the Trade Up and Scale Up levels. These offer a Trade Back grant of up to £4,000 or £7,000, a support network, a mentor and a learning programme (12-14 days over a year).  The focus is on growing their income from trading, increasing capacity, and developing leadership and business skills.

There is also Trade Back, created by SSE in response to the pandemic. This is a new type of grant that incentivises social organisations to trade, while supporting them to recover and rebuild.

Alastair Wilson, chief executive of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said:

“Changemakers need even greater resilience, skills and networks to survive and thrive in these challenging times. We’ve listened to social entrepreneurs on our programmes and have adapted our learning content to meet the changing learning needs of social entrepreneurs dealing with the impact of Covid-19.  Our learning managers have also adapted the programme for online delivery.

“Everyone is welcome at SSE and I’m thrilled that we’ll be supporting hundreds more people from all backgrounds – who are committed to improving the lives of people in need, tackling challenges in their local communities, or working on environmental issues.”

Those taking part will start their learning programme in October 2021, and will come together with other social entrepreneurs for learning sessions for one or two days per month over the course of a year.

Green tree canopy, viewed from beneath. Photo: Felix Mittermeier on Pexels

Match-funded grants to help businesses reduce carbon footprint

A new grant funding pot of £850,000 is available to help small and medium sized enterprises in Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, and Northamptonshire to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of their commercial premises.

The Low Carbon Workspaces programme is delivering grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to SMEs and nonprofits to help fund up to a third of the cost of eligible projects which cover energy saving measures including lighting systems, heating and cooling upgrades, renewable energy systems, equipment upgrades, and building fabric improvements.

Programme Manager Daniel Cope explained:

“These grants are intended to help businesses implement positive changes to ensure that they are working towards building a more sustainable future and saving money. Investing in low carbon measures can help businesses reduce overheads, cut carbon emissions, and boost eco-credentials and be part of the nationwide goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that many businesses may struggle to implement energy-improvement measures despite increasing energy rates, so we are pleased to be able to bring this scheme to businesses in these regions to help reduce this burden and build a more sustainable future.”

A dedicated Project Officer will be available to guide businesses through the process, advising them on how to tackle energy consumption, helping identify suitable projects for funding and providing support to businesses struggling to take their first step towards sustainable practices.

Support for UK-based emerging artists

Dr. Martens and the Institute of Contemporary Arts have teamed up to provide support for UK-based emerging artists.

Artists looking to make their first significant presentation in a UK institution and who feel they would benefit from expert mentoring and production support are invited to submit proposals for production grants worth a total of £60,000.

Proposals could be for an event-based installation, a single- and/or multi-channel projection, a performance, an online and/or streamable work, another moving image-based format or any combination of these formats – but they must have moving image at their core.

The grants will support the creation of seven new commissions for Image Behaviour, with the money available split into six grants of £5,000 and one of £30,000. They are, for the first time, being awarded through a nationwide open call.

Applications are open until 30 March.

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