Start-Up School

Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise

What does this involve?

Do you have a great business idea that could positively impact your local community or environment?

Get help to get it off the ground! Start-Up School are looking for applicants for an exciting programme of support for people who want to set up a social business.


What’s a social business?

Social businesses trade like any other business but at their core they have a social purpose and reinvest profits to deliver social, community or environmental benefits.


Tell me more about Start-Up School

Start-Up School is based across four locations: Sutherland, Easter Ross, Wester Ross and the Outer Hebrides. It’s an opportunity to get 1-2-1 support from social business experts, and you’ll become part of a Europe-wide network of people just like you. The programme content is tailored to suit the needs of individual participants, but you could expect to cover topics like business planning, sourcing investment and market awareness.


What’s on offer?

  • a fully funded 18-month programme of support
  • centred around four hubs in Sutherland, Easter Ross,Wester Ross and the Outer Hebrides
  • a mix of face-to-face workshops, coaching and mentoring with some online learning
  • a flexible approach that is designed to fit around any existing commitments
  • a chance to be part of a network of people like you who are based both in the Highlands and Islands and abroad

Am I eligible?

Start-Up School is open to anyone with a social business idea, regardless of age, education, employment – or anything else!

What does this cost?

Start-Up School is a fully funded programme.

Who is this for?

Start-Up School is for ambitious people who are keen to launch a business that has social or environmental benefits. You could be a school leaver or graduate who wants to stay in the community you grew up in, a retiree with time on your hands, or at any stage in between.

Your idea does not have to be fully formed. Start-Up School will help you develop it, bring it to life and create a lasting impact. Apply today - and join the existing 5,500 social businesses across Scotland that work to address social needs, strengthen communities, improve people’s lives and protect the environment.

How long does this take?

Each Start-Up School runs over 18 months, comprising of 42 days of support.

Important information

Start-up School is part of the Support Network for Social Entrepreneurs (SuNSE), an Interreg North West Europe partnership project.

The School is funded by Interreg North West Europe, run by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy.

Next steps

Visit the Highlands and Islands Enterprise website for more information.

Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise

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