Applications open for SSE Community Business Trade Up Programme

More power to community businesses, with up to £10,000 and a learning programme on offer to help them grow.

Applications are now open for the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in partnership with Power to Change

Community businesses across England can now apply for a learning programme and a grant matched to their earnings of up to £10,000, to support their growth and increase the difference they make to their local area.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, is open for applications until Thursday 14th February 2019. This is the third year the programme has run.

The programme supports the leaders of community businesses with:

  • a Match Trading™ grant of up to £10,000
  • a fully funded nine-month learning programme (consisting of 12 learning days)
  • a community of supportive peers

The Match Trading™ grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures.

Community businesses from across England can find out more and apply
now until Thursday 14th February 2019, at: 

We will also be running a series of Information Sessions across the Midlands.
Coventry – 9th Jan – Book via
Central Birmingham – 16th Jan – Book via
Leicester – 23rd Jan – Book via
Smetwick – 30th Jan – Book via


Could your organisation offer a supported work placement?

advance_group_logoA new supported employment programme designed to help disabled people to gain skills and experience is looking for host employers in Solihull.

The Supported Business Placement programme is being run by Advance – a charitable organisation and prime contractor for the ‘Work Choice’ programme in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country, working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The programme helps disabled people and people with mental health issues to receive the same employment opportunities as everyone else. Applicants are matched to six month placements and a dedicated ‘in work’ adviser is on hand for the employer and individual throughout the process – initial work skills assessments, development plans, regular review meetings and in-house training are part of the package. The main aim of the Supported Business Placement is for host employers to be able to take on the trainee as an employee at the end of the 6 months.

A wage incentive of 16 hours per week (at minimum wage) is paid to trainees who are employed by Pluss (Advance’s delivery partner and supported business provider). 

The model means employers get the support and encouragement they need to recruit, manage and progress disabled people and people with long-term health issues, leading to rewarding, independent and unsupported employment for Advance customers.

For more information about the scheme contact:

Donna Dind – Supported Business Placement Team Leader

Tel: 07920 793942 or 0121 711 1044


Great news for Start-Ups in North Solihull


North Solihull Partnership has launched a new round of funding to help start-up businesses get off the ground.

The grant programme is designed for businesses that have been trading for less than two years and are based or operating in the North Solihull regeneration area.

Grants of upto £2,000 per applicant are available – community/social enterprises and privately owned ventures are eligible to apply.

The fund is managed by Solihull Council who are delighted with the impact it’s had so far. Kevin Kane-Brooks, Project Officer says: “We’ve seen with previous grant winners just how much can be achieved with relatively small amounts of start-up capital combined with access to business advice from the Community Enterprise for Success programme. We’re delighted to see it continue for another year.”

The Business Start-up Grants scheme is open until March 2016, with applications approved on a first come first served basis.

For more information about the Business Start-Up Grants and to apply call 0121 667 6810 or email

November’s Newsletter is out!


We have another great newsletter for you this month showcasing the enterprising culture developing in North Solihull. November saw the new Chelmund’s Cross Enterprise Centre open its doors and we are also excited to see a second hive for enterprise develop in the form of Chelmund’s Space.

If you don’t receive our monthly e-bulletins and event invitations, you can subscribe for free here

Nov 14_page 1Inside November’s issue:

  • Enterprise Centre open for business
  • Chelmund’s Space – sparking learning and creativity
  • A Moment With… Stacey Smith
  • Writing Better Funding Applications
  • CEFS events and workshops
  • Case study: Wayne Elcock’s Amateur Boxing Club

Read previous issues of BULLETiN



Community First Grants for North Solihull Groups Open to Applications

A quick post for you all, to let you know that Solihull Sustain have announced that the Community First Neighbourhood Matched fund has re-opened in three areas of North Solihull.

Grants range from £250-£2,500 and are available for local projects that work towards each area’s priorities.

Projects applying to the Matched Fund must also match the amount they apply for with other contributions – in-kind, volunteer time or cash.

Details of the programme in each area are available on their respective websites:

The closing date for applications in each area is 12 noon on 4th October 2013.

Don’t forget if you fit the criteria of the Community Enterprise for Success project we can help you develop your application and you may also be entitled to apply for the Community Enterprise for Success Kick Start grant of up to £2000.

Good luck!

RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise Awards Open

The Royal Bank of Scotland has opened the next funding round of its Inspiring Youth Enterprise programme to support not-for-profit organisations that help young people (aged 13 to 30 years ) start their own business.

The maximum grant of £50,000 (deadline 16/09/13). The RBS Inspiring Enterprise programme offers resources to support the inspiration of entrepreneurs including in particular young people, women and social enterprise:

Good Luck.

Finance for Your Business

Solihull Council and partners Finance Birmingham and Blythe Valley Innovation Centre invite local businesses to a free workshop outlining the latest financial support available for local companies, including:

– Business Loans
– Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative Funding
– Business Grants
– Business Angel Funding

Date: Tuesday 16th July, 8.30am – 10.00am

Location: Blythe Valley Innovation Centre, Central Boulevard, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, B90 8AJ

To reserve your place, or for more information, call the Business Investment Team on 0121 704 6151 or email

Investment and Contract Readiness Fund Opens for Applications (England)

The Social Investment Business (SIB), the UK’s largest investor in social ventures, has announced that the £10 million Investment and Contract Readiness Fund is now accepting applications.

The new fund aims to build the capacity of social enterprises to become investment ready and bid for public service contracts. Through the Fund grants between £50,000 and £150,000 are available on a rolling basis to ambitious social enterprises who will go on to raise at least £500,000 investment, or who want to bid for contracts over £1 million.

Grants are awarded primarily to fund revenue costs.  SIB will prioritise applications from organisations delivering rehabilitation services and are looking for contract readiness support to help them compete for the new Transforming Rehabilitation contracts.  Ventures will be required to apply in partnership with an approved provider.

Santander SEDA Awards Open Today! (3rd June)

Santander’s Social Enterprise Development Awards

Opens Today with an increased number of prizes available this year for social enterprises seeking a financial boost to help them expand.

The scheme offers social enterprises the opportunity to win funding and business support to help them grow and increase their social impact.

About the Social Enterprise Development Award
SEDA is targeted at established social enterprises looking to grow their business and working for the direct benefit of their community via one or more of the following outcomes:
•        Improving communities via social inclusion
•        Supporting disadvantaged people through training, skills and employment
•        Creating a greener environment

The Award features three prizes: 
•        £50,000 for social enterprises with a turnover of £250,000 – £1,000,000
•        £20,000 for social enterprises with a turnover of £100,000 – £250,000
•        £10,000 for social enterprises with a turnover of up to £100,000
How to Enter:

Complete a short entry form downloadable from <>  detailing how an award would be used to grow their business to benefit the community.

The deadline for applications is the 1st July 2013 – winners will be announced in September 2013.
For further information please contact:

the Santander team at Eulogy! on 

or call Ben Gold on 020 3077 2000

A word from me Good Luck!