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With the first stage of their finance and support programme successfully completed, the Seedbed Programme is now looking to recruit social ventures to join them for the exciting second and third stage of the programme.

Social ventures are invited to join existing ventures for the Development and Growth Stages, starting in September 2015 and finishing in January 2016. Social ventures will have access to cutting-edge support to help them grow and become stronger and more sustainable. The development programme will provide access to social finance loans of up to £50,000 as well as workshops and business coaching and a £1,000 cash voucher to all participants.

The Development Stage will focus on product / service development, market testing, trailing and prototyping, as well as brand and investment strategy to help social ventures grow their business, scale their impact and successfully manage their investment.

Dirk Rohwedder, Seedbed director and director of the Dartington Hall Trust School for Social Entrepreneurs, spoke about the next stage: “Since we launched the programme in April 2015, we have helped 15 social ventures start their journey to grow their idea, product or service through our Foundation Stage.

“From our initial recruitment we understand that there are a number of social ventures in the South West that didn’t think the Foundation Stage of the programme was right for them. We are inviting these social ventures to apply for the second stage of our programme and make use of our development loans.

“The Development Stage builds on the work we did in the Foundation Stage with social ventures to test and develop their business plans. We are now looking for social ventures that have done the groundwork and put in place plans to grow, who need coaching, access to business expertise and financial support to see these plans become a reality.

“We are very pleased with the results we’ve seen so far and we know that as the programme continues, we’ll be able to help more social ventures to make a real difference in the South West.”

Nicola McCheyne, from Community Energy Plus, spoke about her time on the Seedbed programme to date: “The programme has provided an opportunity to strategically evaluate the core business model and social value of the venture. The targeted support across strategy, business model canvas, social canvas and pitching has allowed us to sharpen our business plan, develop partnerships and prepare thoroughly for the launch of our new venture, Building Brighter Futures.”

Seedbed is one of only ten social incubators / accelerators in the UK, which have received funding from the Cabinet Office to provide growth and investment support to social ventures through social investment and a development programme.

Places on the programme are free due to a joint investment by the Big Lottery’s Social Incubator Fund and the three partner organisations that are involved in Seedbed to help take social ventures in the South West to the next level.

Applications for the Development Stage of the Seedbed development and loan programme must be in before the deadline of 5pm on Sunday 13th September.

To read more about the Seedbed programme or to receive an application form, visit