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Entrepreneurs urged to apply for new Social Enterprise Challenge
Author/Source: West Dunbartonshire Council

Proposals are now being invited for an exciting new £225k fund that will help set up new social enterprise businesses in West Dunbartonshire to boost the local economy and create sustainable jobs.
Plans for the Social Enterprise Challenge fund were announced last year by Council Leader Martin Rooney at the Council's first ever Social Enterprise Business event.  The fund will support the creation of these businesses by investing up to £15,000 in those schemes that have the ability to create sustainable local job opportunities.
The Council can now confirm it will deliver the new scheme in partnership with Firstport, an organisation that supports new and emerging social enterprise entrepreneurs. Firstport will assist the Council by running idea generation workshops to identify viable enterprises, and provide them with one-to-one support to progress their ideas.
Councillor David McBride, Convener of the Council's Housing, Environmental and Economic Development Committee, said: "The Council understands that social enterprises make a vital contribution to delivering sustainable growth in the local economy. The purpose of the Social Enterprise Challenge is to support enterprising and innovative activities which address social and environmental challenges to achieve greater social impact and create local job opportunities. I'd urge anyone with an idea for a social enterprise to get in touch with the Council's Business Support team to find out more information about the initiative."
Councillor Lawrence O'Neill, Depute Convener of Housing, Environmental and Economic Development added: "Information is now available to provide full details and guidance to anyone who is interested in accessing funds through the Social Enterprise Challenge. The Council and its partners will also be there throughout the process, to provide any additional support and guidance individuals or groups might need to complete their bids."
Proposals for the Social Enterprise Challenge should be from local individuals or groups proposing to operate in West Dunbartonshire and should be able to show that they have:
•             A new business idea with clear social benefits for the local area
•             The ability to create local job opportunities
•             A proposal which identifies clear outputs and impacts
•             The ability to define sustainability for the business
•             The drive and vision to take the idea forward
Proposals relating to existing services or projects are not eligible for support through this fund.
If you are an individual or group who has an idea for a social enterprise please contact the Council's Business Support team on 01389 737777, or e-mail business.support@west-dunbarton.gov.uk for further information.

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