Growing pains affect any business looking to mature and expand, but small and medium ventures committed to social impact often face unique struggles when looking to develop; by the very nature of their mission goals, funding can often be hard to come by.
That’s why The Big Issue, working with Barclays bank and Cambridge Judge Business School, has launched a new programme to support the growth of small to medium social enterprises.
Applications are now open for Scale Up UK, a dedicated programme aimed at supporting the growth of small to medium-sized social ventures and helping them address the core challenges their founders and management teams face in scaling.
John Montague, managing director of group operations at The Big Issue, says, “When it comes to scaling up, a lot of fantastic small to medium social ventures face key challenges when that, without the right level of expert guidance, can seem insurmountable.”
Delivered in an interactive and practical style, in partnership with the Cambridge Judge Business School, the course focuses on enhancing the performance and competitiveness of social enterprises that take part through a bespoke curriculum.
“We are so pleased, working in partnership with Barclays and Cambridge Judge Business School, to be able to support those organisations with the business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference within their communities,” says Montague.
A series of six workshops over 36 weeks provide access to the latest management thinking, facilitate the sharing of insights about commonly experienced challenges and explore a range of possible solutions. These are augmented by company visits by a member of the Cambridge Judge Business School team and by coaching by an experienced practitioner.
Cohorts will take place in Birmingham, Cardiff/Bristol, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester and London. On successfully enrolling onto the programme, the fee of £7,000 (per company) will be met and sponsored by Barclays.
In terms of criteria, businesses that apply should be committed to growing its social impact, have scale-up potential (e.g. annual sales ranging from startup to £20m). Businesses that put themselves forward need a positive cashflow and must have received or are looking for social investment. Lastly, the business must have a team with a proven track record and/or an entrepreneurial, ambitious, talented and broad-minded management team who are committed to growth.
“We are calling out to ambitious Social Enterprise teams and businesses that are committed to achieving extraordinary results across the UK to apply to the programme and make scaling up manageable and realistic,” says Montague.
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