Scottish EDGE launches a special category award to target social enterprise applicants

Scottish EDGE, Scotland’s leading competition to identify and support the nation’s most promising entrepreneurial talent, is launching a special category award today – the Social Enterprise EDGE (SEE) Award – in partnership with Postcode Innovation Trust to encourage applications from Social Enterprise businesses.

The (SEE) Award will be a prize of up to £100,000 – 60% loan and 40% grant – for the top Social Enterprise business idea in rounds 13 and 14 of the Scottish EDGE competition.

Scottish EDGE has made 300+ awards to date, totaling over £11 million while helping to create over 1000 jobs and boosting turnover of awardee companies by £104.22 million while helping them to secure an additional £84.47 million in investment.

Postcode Innovation Trust is funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and has recently been established to support the development of the social enterprise sector in Great Britain.

The introduction of the SEE Award aims to emulate the success of the tech-focused special award, Higgs EDGE, and the creative focused special award, Creative EDGE, both of which have resulted in their respective sectors holding the highest representation at Scottish EDGE’s application stage, round on round.

Scottish EDGE launches Round 13 on Tues 24th July with the final planned for 6th December where up to £1 million in grant and loan funding will be awarded to around twenty-five Scottish startups.

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE said: “There is a misconception that Scottish EDGE, with its strong focus on business growth, is not supportive of businesses whose profits are 100% reinvested back into their social and/or environmental purpose. In reality, we believe that the need for social entrepreneurs and their solutions to tackling global inequalities is greater now than ever.

“The generous support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery will allow Scottish EDGE, through the Social Enterprise EDGE Award, to raise the profile of the innovative businesses working to overcome those barriers, and to truly take Scottish social entrepreneurship mainstream.”

Joe Ray, Social Investment Advisor at Postcode Innovation Trust said: “We’re very pleased to be supporting the first Social Enterprise EDGE award. Scotland is already a leading centre for social enterprise and this award should help inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs who are working to address society’s problems.”

Alastair Davis, CEO of Social Investment Scotland said: “We’re delighted to see the launch of the Social Enterprise EDGE. For entrepreneurs, social enterprise is increasingly being seen as a business model of choice and Scotland is increasingly being recognised as one of the best places in the world to start, grow and scale a social enterprise. This award highlights the growing inclusiveness of our economy and I look forward to being inspired by the next generation of businesses combining profit and purpose.’

Alan Mahon, Founder of Brewgooder said: “As a winner of a Scottish EDGE Award in Round 9 I know first hand the difference that this support can provide for early stage and growth entrepreneurs, especially those running social enterprises for whom traditional growth funding may not be an option. By helping to scale social enterprises this award can only be a good thing for developing even more purpose-driven companies in Scotland.”

For more information on the Scottish Edge or to prepare for your pitch please get in touch with our Business Gateway team here. 

Finally, Leny Estate in Callander was named Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers – Best Self Catering Accommodation Experience. The estate which offers high quality four and five star self-catering accommodation has expanded in recent years and was commended by judges for its collaboration with Venachar Lochside and the local community.

Barry Martin, Manager of Leny Estate said:  “We work hard as a team to give our guests a stress-free experience from the moment they book with a very personal touch.  A combination of our unique location, first class accommodation and efficient personal service is a winning combination and it is very satisfying to have been formally recognised.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards is Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry, celebrating success, innovation, excellence and best practice in Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

It also offers the opportunity to recognise those people who have made valuable contributions to the sector across the country.

2018 saw more than 640 entries submitted, including well over a thousand nominations from members of the public keen to recognise hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service.

The winners of the regional finals will now go on to fly the flag for the Central East & Tayside region, at the glittering national final of the Scottish Thistle Awards at the EICC in Edinburgh next March.

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “On behalf of the panel, I’d like to congratulate all our regional winners. They are a credit to themselves, their local area and the entire Scottish tourism sector. 

 “Tourism is more than a holiday experience, it creates jobs and sustains communities. These awards let us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry.

 “I would like to wish all our regional winners the very best for the next stage of the competition.”


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