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Macduff & Banff Regeneration Chairs Welcome New Grant Scheme for Social Enterprises

>> 6 November 2017

A grant support scheme has been launched to assist the development and creation of social enterprises in Aberdeenshire.

Councillors agreed to support the sector with a £200,000 Social Enterprise Support Fund which is open for applications until March 2019. The fund includes grants for new permanent employees, training, expert advice and for feasibility studies into new income streams.

There is also a grant for the establishment of new social enterprises, and for the establishment of new income streams for existing social enterprises.

To benefit from the scheme the social enterprises will have to be legal entities which can trade and where there is an asset lock. This means that if the business was dissolved the assets would be passed on to an organisation with similar aims.

There is also provision to ensure the award of a grant will not be detrimental to other local businesses.

Chair of the Banff Regeneration Partnership, SNP councillor Glen Reynolds said:

"The funding of the rapidly growing third sector, or what was known as 'charity work', is evolving as the nature of our economy seeks out better ways to do more for people who are in need of help and where profit is not the sole driving force.

“Competition and austerity has forced traditional charities to become more entrepreneurial, and with UK Government policy outsourcing many services, it is inevitable that in many areas typically covered by the 'not for profit sector', businesses and social entrepreneurs are increasingly talking to each other and looking at their aims and objectives in terms of the social and environmental impact as well as their financial profit.

“As a result, social enterprise is becoming a vast, growing, and rapidly changing field and it is great news that the Council is grasping the opportunities that exist, and is reaching out to would be entrepreneurs and people with refreshing new ideas, who can combine that entrepreneurial initiative with a social conscience."

Chair of the Macduff Regeneration group, Troup SNP councillor Ross Cassie added:

“This range of grant funding streams will assist our many or new social enterprises diversify, take on extra employees and even start the entire process.

“The £200,000 fund can be accessed to fund a full-time employee and also to access other avenues of income allowing your social enterprise to diversify and grow. This fund may also be the start of your venture.”

For more information on the scheme and how to apply please email econdev@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or see: http://bit.ly/ShireSESS

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