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A South West partnership led by the Dartington Hall Trust is offering 50 social entrepreneurs in the South West a new finance and support package, part-funded by the Cabinet office, to make them stronger and more sustainable.

Innovative social ventures with high growth potential are invited to apply for 50 places from November 2014 on the SEEDbed incubator which starts in March 2015 in a partnership between The Dartington Hall Trust, Plymouth University and SWIG Finance.

£600,000 is on offer as affordable loan finance, managed by SWIG Finance on behalf of The Dartington Hall Trust, alongside a programme of intensive support to social entrepreneurs worth £8,500 per venture from the School for Social Entrepreneurs. The offer is the result of a £1.05 million joint investment by the Big Lottery’s Social Incubator Fund and the partner organisation’s to enable early stage South West social ventures to take their business to the next level.

CEO of the Dartington Hall Trust, Vaughan Lindsay says, “Dartington has a long history of supporting social entrepreneurs. The aim of the SEEDbed programme is to enable the South West’s social entrepreneurs to create sustainable jobs, contribute to the local economy and help build resilient communities, in keeping with our charitable aim to support jobs and community resilience in our region.”

John Peters, Managing Director of SWIG Finance, the region’s principal Community Development Finance Institution said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside the Dartington Hall Trust as the investment partner in supporting social entrepreneurs across the South West region to develop sustainable businesses.

“We believe the support and investment available will not only help the development of the social enterprises directly, but also drive economic growth in the region.”

The original article appeared in the Western Morning News