Calling all budding social entrepreneurs in West Lancashire!

The School of Social Entrepreneurs North West and Well Skelmersdale have teamed up to find talent on our doorstep and help social entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

The newly launched Skelmersdale Social Innovators Start Up Programme is now welcoming applications from people with ideas for a new social enterprise and/or a recently launched one that is already underway. A social enterprise is an organisation that helps people in need or the environment and makes its own money.

Paula Gamester, a well-regarded local social entrepreneur, fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and part of the Well Skelmersdale vision, said:

“We are so pleased to be bringing the School for Social Entrepreneurs to Skelmersdale. Social enterprise is part of a global movement, it is a business model that makes profound impacts on communities by investing in people’s lives, this is what we want for Skelmersdale. The Social Innovators Start Up Programme not only offers critical support in the start-up stage, but also membership of the School for Social Entrepreneurs’ global alumni and ongoing support for a minimum of one year following the launch of the social business.”

The programme is aiming to identify 12 local people who have first-hand experiences of social issues and have an idea and the motivation to tackle them and help their local community.   Those selected as part of the programme will join the Start Up Programme, inspiring them to unleash their vision. Ongoing support will be given to each social business as it takes flight.

The 12 month programme will offer a full spread of support including sessions on finance, governance, business planning, marketing and fundraising. There will also be the chance to hear first-hand from social entrepreneurs and their own journey, as well as site visits to both local and national social businesses.

Lisa Mairah, Head of the School of Social Entrepreneurs North West said:

“This is a major opportunity that will not only help to nurture the budding social entrepreneurs out there but in time will also help the community through the social businesses that are launched out of the programme. We are hugely impressed at the scale of social entrepreneurism in Skelmersdale that exists today and are confident the Skelmersdale Social Innovators Start Up Programme will identify further untapped potential. This is all about helping local people with promising ideas they have that will address a local issue by offering them support to allow their ideas and passion to become a reality.”

Martin from Total Reuse in West Lancashire is a graduate of the School of Social Entrepreneurs. He said:

“I heard about the School for Social Entrepreneurs from a friend who told me they were piloting an Environmental programme. I submitted my application, had the interview and was accepted onto the programme back in 2009. Whilst I was on the course I had a ‘light bulb’ moment and came up with my business idea. That night I went home and bought the domain and company names.

“The School for Social Entrepreneurs is not your traditional training course.  It is a unique environment that brings together like minded people whose business ideas put people and planet first.  You don’t learn from textbooks, you learn from experienced social entrepreneurs sharing their stories, (warts and all). You’ll build a valuable network, gain skills and knowledge that will help you create a sustainable enterprise and meet a bunch of inspiring people with the same driving passion, challenges and fears who support you long after the course has finished”.

Applications will be accepted from anyone age 17 and over.  The applicants can be ready to begin a start-up social enterprise and/or in the early stages of operating (no more than three years of trading).

To get your application form or make an enquiry, please contact Angela Stanley from the School of Social Entrepreneurs North West on 0151 708 3914, or email angelastanley@blackburnehouse.co.uk. Details also available at https://www.the-sse.org/courses/well-skemersdale-social-innovators-start-up-programme/

Printed application forms are also available locally from across Skelmersdale e.g. health centres, community venues and libraries.   The deadline for applications is 1pm Friday 17 November 2017.

To support this programme, two awareness days will be hosted in Skelmersdale Library on 9 November 1-3pm and 13 November 5-7pm.   Anyone is welcome to attend the events. The day will be focused on social enterprises and a great chance to ask more about applying for the programme.

Well Skelmersdale is a community driven initiative which aims to help communities live happier and healthier lives. Find out more: www.wellskelmersdale.wordpress.com

Please view our poster highlighting this opportunity.

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