Following an extremely competitive selection process, I am delighted to have been accepted onto the prestigious Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme. The programme, which gives a fully funded year of learning and a £4000 grant, will help me develop the skills and knowledge to take The Project to the next stage – a sustainable social enterprise.
What is the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme?
The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme is provided by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, who are funded by Lloyds Bank and the Big Lottery Fund to provide your place on the programme and your grant.
The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) provides action learning programmes to support social entrepreneurs each year to grow social and community organisations across the UK, Australia and Canada. Founded in 1997, The School for Social Entrepreneurs has 16 years’ experience designing and delivering action learning programmes for social entrepreneurs.
The School for Social Entrepreneurs uses a variety of learning methods to provide the tailored personal development and organisational support that social entrepreneurs need. Learning is “by doing” and throughout each course students learn from their peers, build new networks and are challenged by practitioners, staff and each other to become the most successful social entrepreneurs they can be. The SSE’s experience is that social entrepreneurs develop their business and life skills through applying their learning directly to their project, through practical action not academic theory.
Not coming from a business background, I am excited by the opportunities that being part of this programme will bring, and am confident that it will help me to move The Project forward. With competition for grant funding increasing, it is important to the future of The Project that it can at least in part be self-sustaining, and I am looking forward to exploring different possibilities over the coming months. I have been assigned a business mentor from Lloyds Bank, who is proving to be a useful sounding board for my thoughts and ideas, as well as sharing knowledge and expertise around business start-up.
As part of the programme, I will also benefit from receiving advice and guidance from experts from fields such as financial management, business planning, sales and marketing; ‘witness’ sessions from established social entrepreneurs who can share their own experiences, successes, challenges and mistakes; and working with other students to tackle issues and problems that may arise over the coming year.
It’s going to be a busy, challenging and exciting year – both for me, and The Project!
To find out more about SSE’s approach to learning, go to: http://www.the-sse.org/schools/26/lloyds-bank-and-bank-of-scotland-social-entrepreneurs-programme/95/learning-approach#sthash.iWSJ9M8P.dpuf
To apply for the 2014/15 programme, go to http://www.the-sse.org/schools/26/lloyds-banking-group-social-entrepreneurs-programme#sthash.pcCmU94H.dpuf