News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Six social enterprises secure a place in Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator

Posted: 10th May 2022

After a competitive selection process, six social enterprises from across the country have been announced as the latest participants on LaunchMe, Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator.

The selected enterprises operate across sectors and geographies, and include EnableNet, the UK’s first social enterprise internet service provider, and Animalia CIC, a sportswear brand that manufactures world-class fitness and fight wear gear. All the enterprises were selected based on their potential to scale, secure investment and generate social impact in their communities.

LaunchMe, which is delivered by social enterprise start-up agency Firstport, supports ambitious social enterprises to achieve scale by getting them investment ready and directly connecting them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns. In addition to initial seed funding, selected participants have the opportunity to apply for grant funding as co-investment to match any private and institutional investment they secure during the programme.

The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and supported by Barclays bank. LaunchMe alumni include well-known social enterprises including letting agency Homes for Good; art retailer the Scottish Design Exchange; and tour company Invisible Cities.

Beth Morrison, founder of Just Breathe O2, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have secured a place in LaunchMe, as I cannot fault the support received from Firstport from the start of my journey with Just Breathe O2 and am super excited at where this next phase will take the business. Over the coming months, I would like to see the organisation flourish, with a second multi place chamber in place, a growing team and operating at 70% capacity.”

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “The ambition and drive of social enterprises continue to impress us. Despite facing incredible challenges over the last two years, these six social enterprises have demonstrated that they have robust and resilient business models with the potential to scale and achieve greater social impact.

With the cost-of-living crisis, Brexit uncertainties and Covid still lingering, now more than ever social enterprises have an important role to play in making our communities fairer, healthier, and more prosperous. We can’t wait to support these enterprises to achieve their ambitions.”

Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, said: “The Scottish Government is delighted to continue our support for the Firstport LaunchMe programme. Our support for LaunchMe demonstrates, not only our commitment to the programme, but our commitment to ensuring Scotland retains its position as a world class social enterprise country. I wish each of the six successful social enterprises good luck, and look forward to hearing how they progress, and continue to support our communities.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here