Scottish EDGE, Scotland's leading competition to identify and support the nation's most promising entrepreneurial talent, has launched a special category award – the Social Enterprise EDGE (SEE) Award – in partnership with Postcode Innovation Trust to encourage applications from Social Enterprise businesses.
The SEE Award will be a prize of up to £100,000 – 60% loan and 40% grant – for the top Social Enterprise business idea in rounds 13 and 14 of the Scottish EDGE competition. Scottish EDGE has made over 300 awards to date, totalling over £11 Million while helping to create over 1,000 jobs and boosting turnover of awardee companies by £104 Million. All while helping them to secure an additional £84 Million in investment.
Postcode Innovation Trust is funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery and has recently been established to support the development of the social enterprise sector in Great Britain.
Alumni social enterprise success stories include:
- Brewgooder, a brewery which donates 100% of its profits to supplying clean water to deprived areas,
- Orbit Education, who provide enterprise programmes to schools around the UK, and
- Turing Trust, supplier of refurbished IT equipment and training to schools in sub-Saharan Africa.
Scottish EDGE launched Round 13 on Tuesday 24th July with the final planned for 6th December 2018, where up to £1 Million in grant and loan funding will be awarded to around twenty-five Scottish startups. Scottish EDGE itself is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, The Hunter Foundation, and the Scottish Government.
Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE, said, "There is a misconception that Scottish EDGE, with its strong focus on business growth, is not supportive of businesses whose profits are 100% reinvested back into their social and/or environmental purpose. In reality, we believe that the need for social entrepreneurs and their solutions to tackling global inequalities is greater now than ever.
"The generous support from players of People's Postcode Lottery will allow Scottish EDGE, through the Social Enterprise EDGE Award, to raise the profile of the innovative businesses working to overcome those barriers, and to truly take Scottish social entrepreneurship mainstream."
Joe Ray, Social Investment Advisor at Postcode Innovation Trust, said, "We're very pleased to be supporting the first Social Enterprise EDGE award. Scotland is already a leading centre for social enterprise and this award should help inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs who are working to address society's problems."
Alan Mahon, Founder of Brewgooder, said, "As a winner of a Scottish EDGE Award in Round 9 I know first hand the difference that this support can provide for early stage and growth entrepreneurs, especially those running social enterprises for whom traditional growth funding may not be an option. By helping to scale social enterprises this award can only be a good thing for developing even more purpose-driven companies in Scotland."