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Support provided by Firstport

What does this involve?

LaunchMe is an investment readiness programme that offers business support and expertise for social and community enterprises in Scotland.

It will help you prepare to get the investment you need to help your enterprise grow.

What is investment readiness?

Investment readiness is the process of preparing your business for growth so you can get funding, investment, and loans to increase its size and impact.

Becoming investment-ready is an intensive process, and social entrepreneurs can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years to get there. 

LaunchMe is an open, rolling programme that has been supporting ambitious social enterprises since 2014. You can join it at any time and move at your own pace. You'll also be able to get peer support and expert training at different points throughout the programme. 

LaunchMe can help if you:  

  • need finance to reach your ambitions
  • haven’t secured social investment before
  • have already explored or secured early-stage funding (for example, Start It or Build It)
  • need support to get your business and processes ready to take on investment
  • are building momentum – for example, there may be high levels of interest in your product or service, or you anticipate a high demand
  • can commit to an intensive programme of support

If you're interested, first you'll need to: 

  • complete a short expression of interest form
  • discuss your current position and ambitions with a Firstport business adviser

If Firstport believes LaunchMe is right for your business, you'll be asked to:

  • complete a business diagnostic to help the team to understand where your business is right now and what you need to work on
  • meet with a business adviser regularly on a one-to-one basis – the number of meetings will depend on how much (or little) help you need to become investment-ready
  • participate in relevant training and peer support sessions

Am I eligible?

You can apply to LaunchMe if your social or community enterprise: 

  • is based in Scotland and operates primarily for the benefit of people or communities in Scotland
  • is not involved in political campaigning or the promotion of religion 
  • provides direct social benefit to individuals, communities or the environment   
  • is incorporated
  • reinvests its profits into the business and its social aims
  • doesn't provide services or activities that statutory bodies should provide

Usually, LaunchMe participants already have some trading experience and are ready to take their businesses to the next level. Social enterprises that are not yet earning revenue may still be suitable for support based on their business model, product, or service growth potential. 

The lead applicant must be authorised to represent the enterprise on behalf of the parent organisation or board of trustees and make decisions about its future direction.

What does this cost?

This a free service.

Who is this for?

Social and community enterprises in Scotland.

How long does this take?

LaunchMe aims to get you ready for investment within 12 months, but the process can be flexible based on your needs.

It can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years to prepare your business.

Next steps

Visit the Firstport website to find out more and download an expression of interest form.

Support provided by Firstport