The Ridge is delighted to have been accepted onto the “Trade-Up Programme” which is designed to support established social entrepreneurs who are already creating positive change within their communities, providing them with a toolkit and knowledge to grow their social businesses.

The programme provides entrepreneurs with financial support, and a comprehensive learning programme with the School for Social Entrepreneurs focused on growing and becoming more robust.

A brand new funding model, Match Trading™ was also introduced in 2017 to encourage social entrepreneurs to grow their business through trading and increase their sustainability by incentivising them to explore new markets and diversify income streams. As part of the programme, a Match Trading™ grant of up to £5,000 of National Lottery funding is available.

Kate Darrah, managing director of The Ridge, said

 ‘This is a really exciting opportunity for the Ridge Foundations to benefit from the advice, wisdom and support of both specialist ‘wise owls’ and from peers within the social enterprise sector. This will help us reflect on what we do and how we do it, which will, in turn, enable us to operate more effectively and efficiently. With our focus firmly on creating a social business with a viable and sustainable future, the chance to take part in the SSE Trade-Up programme could not have come at a better time.’

 Paula Rogers, head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group said the programme “attracts so many inspirational and motivated individuals from across Scotland and we look forward to supporting a new cohort of students this year. We believe that by supporting individuals to start and develop social businesses to solve the most pressing issues within their local communities, we are helping to drive economic growth across the UK and deliver on our ambition to help Britain prosper.”

Alastair Wilson, chief executive of the School for Social Entrepreneurs said: “Our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group has enabled us to support thousands of social entrepreneurs across the UK to develop businesses with a social impact in their communities. We look forward to supporting these social entrepreneurs on each of their individual journeys and to witness their growth with the support of a grant, learning programme with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and dedicated mentor from Lloyds Banking Group.”