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Our three-year business support programme, eScalate, is now live and offering support to:
- SOCIAL ENTERPRISES* who would like support to develop new business models, higher-quality products, processes, services or specific products to boost productivity or resource efficiency.
- SME SCALE-UPS who are looking to increase market share, increase revenues, increase staff and add value to your business. If you have struggled with access to finance and investment readiness support, we can help.
Socially minded enterprises exist in the space between traditional charities and mainstream businesses. These purposeful businesses are committed to enabling positive social and environmental impact. Scale ups are growing businesses that are ready or are preparing to pitch to investors, looking to grow their workforce, launch new products or diversify.
These enterprises can be found in many sectors, such as:
- Creative industries
- Tourism and leisure
- Health and social care
Supporting social enterprises
We are working with OSEP (Oxfordshire Social Enterprise Partnership) to support Oxfordshire's social enterprises through six social enterprise Hubs. They help social entrepreneurs, charities and purposeful businesses to gain knowledge, forge partnerships and increase their social and environmental impact.
Due to social distancing measures, they are not currently operating as physical Hubs, but they continue to play an important role in leading and delivering our programme of webinars and peer-to-peer support sessions, helping to build a community of like-minded individuals and organisations, which is needed now more than ever before.
SOFEA has a dual social mission – educating disadvantaged young people and providing surplus food to other not for profit organisations. Founded just over 5 years ago, it has grown to a revenue of £1.5m, employing 48 people on three sites. During the lockdown it has scaled up its operations to deliver 3,000 emergency food parcels per week.
For more information on SOFEA, visit www.sofea.uk.com
Aspire @ Flo's
Aspire has teamed up with Flo’s, The Place in the Park, to form are one of our six social enterprise Hubs. Aspire is a multi-award-winning employment charity, established in 2001 to tackle some of the most complex social issues in Oxfordshire. It supports vulnerable local people into and towards employment and housing, as the most powerful way to break the complex cycles of homelessness, re-offending and poverty.
For more information on Aspire, visit www.aspireoxfordshire.org
Flo’s is a community-owned café and centre based in Florence Park in the east of the city where people can meet to work, play, create, and learn.
For more information on Flo’s, visit www.flosoxford.org.uk
The Oxford Hub
Oxford Hub's vision is one of a cohesive community in which everyone is empowered to give and receive support from the people around them. With Oxford Hub, people can create a positive impact through practical volunteering, placements with local charities and by incubating new social action projects and social enterprises.
Oxford Hub is leading ‘Oxford Together’, a city-wide volunteer programme to help those in need during COVID-19.
Find out more: www.oxfordhub.org
TownSq@ Eco Business Centre
Town Square is one of our six social enterprise Hubs and is a certified B Corporation, committed to helping people to start and run their own businesses.
In September 2019 they launched a co-working community at the Eco Business Centre, based in the eco village of Elmsbrook, near Bicester.
Find out more at www.thetownsquare.co.uk
CAG (Community Action Group Oxfordshire)@ Makespace
CAG consists of over 70 groups across Oxfordshire which are at the forefront of community-led climate change action tackling issues including waste, transport, food, energy, biodiversity and social justice. Having started in 2001, the network is the largest of its kind in the UK, running over 2,000 events per year, attended by around 80,000 local residents and contributing over 20,000 volunteer hours to the county.
Find out more at www.cagoxfordshire.org.uk
CAG is based at Makespace, a community-led workspace, which launched in September 2018.
Find out more at www.makespaceoxford.org
Tap Social Movement is an award-winning craft brewery, events and hospitality business, which grew out of a passion for great beer and social justice. It provides training and employment to people serving and recently released from prison sentences to assist in effective rehabilitation and seeks to champion the cause of inclusive employment in the hospitality industry.
Find out more: www.tapsocialmovement.com
- for the foreseeable future, we are looking to move future OxLEP-led events to 'digital platforms
Grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 are also available for eligible SMEs.
Supporting growing businesses
The eScalate programme supports growing businesses that have scale-up potential. If your business is working towards increasing market share, revenues, staff or has struggled with access to finance or needs investment readiness support, we can help through 12 hours of 1:1 support (via telephone or videophone) including:
- Access to finance advice and guidance
- Market/competitor analysis focusing on becoming investment ready
- Identifying suitable types of investment
- Business Planning for finance
- Signposting clients to networks
- Investment readiness support including pitch practice coaching
Grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 are also available for eligible SMEs to fund the following activities:
- Investment readiness consultancy support
- Access to finance consultancy support
To find out more about the eScalate programme and how we might be able to support your business, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Not eligible? Enterprises which cannot be supported through eScalate may benefit from business support services outside of the project, contact our team to find out more: email@example.com
* The eScalate programme supports SMEs that are Social Enterprises, social entrepreneurs, enterprising charities and other purposeful businesses committed to enabling positive social and environmental impact.