Jem Stein The Bike Project

HOW SMALL CHANGE IS GAINING BIG INTEREST FROM LLOYDS BANK: A BICYCLE WORKSHOP FOR REFUGEES AND POP-UP COMMUNITY CINEMAS HAVE ALL BENEFITTED FROM THE BANK’S SOCIAL FUNDING PROGRAMME (AND THEY’RE LOOKING FOR NEW IDEAS!)

Are you a budding social entrepreneur looking to develop your enterprise? Next month will see the application process open for this year’s Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

The programme, which also receives backing from the Big Lottery Fund, aims to support entrepreneurs throughout the UK who are keen to develop their ideas into sustainable enterprises which have a positive social impact in the community.

Grants of £4,000 are available to those looking to establish a new project, while £15,000 will be given to entrepreneurs looking to ’scale up’ an existing business.

Winning applications will also get a place on a year-long learning programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs and a business mentor from Lloyds Banking Group.

Since its launch in 2012, the programme has provided funding to help social businesses addressing diverse issues such as the environment, disability, health and recycling.

Projects have included a bicycle workshop for refugees, a community cinema initiative in rural Scotland and a organisation running kayaking trips for disabled and disadvantaged young people.

By next year the programme aims to have supported 1300 social entrepreneurs to Start and Scale up their innovative social organisations.

The programme also runs an annual Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which was won last year by 28-year-old Jem Stein.

Having mentored a refugee whilst at university, Jem was inspired to create The Bike Project in 2013 to provide second-hand bikes to refugees in and around London, providing essential access to free transport in the city and improving accessibility to healthcare and education.

To learn more about the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme, visit The SSE website here.

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