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Sustainable Impact & Income in the Community

Last week the first group of participants from the Sustainable Income and Impact Project pitched their social action business pilots to a seed funding panel. The panel consisted of City Council members, Locality Leads and Social Enterprise experts. Lizzy Hodcroft, Junction Point’s Enterprise Development Director has led on this project.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the participants. It’s been so exciting to watch each person’s journey and it’s been humbling to be able to support them throughout. Whilst each participant has approached this through their own unique lens, they have all demonstrated that businesses can be built from passion and have the ability to improve their communities” – Lizzy Hodcroft. 

This project has been funded through the North of Tyne Combined Authority in conjunction with Newcastle City Council. It aims to inspire and support individuals from around Newcastle to bring their ideas to life in the form of social enterprise. In particular, this part of the project was aimed to provide people with the tools, knowledge and seed funding to pilot their purpose-led business ideas. Whilst these participants are well on their way to piloting their business ideas, the project is open for new participants to join at any point.

Piloting Projects

The purpose-driven businesses being explored include building self-esteem through boxing classes for underprivileged children, teaching self-care to women that have experienced trauma and building sensory gardens for adults with different sensory needs, to name but a few.

The project follows four main phases of business development:

  • Participants started their journey by exploring the ‘why, what and how’. This ensured that the ideas taken forward were well considered and researched and not based on blind assumption.
  • The pitch development process provided the opportunity to plan the pilot in detail including project management, marketing, budgeting and risk management.
  • The successful pitches that have been successful in accessing seed funding will now go on to a deliver their trial project.
  • The aim of these pilots is to provide evidence to decide whether or not to pursue these social business ideas. This final step will be to review the evidence and to plan next steps toward launch or another pilot.

If you or your organisation feel you could support these new fledgling businesses, please get in touch as we’re keen to support our participants to build strong working networks.

“This isn’t about every project being a success (although each idea has the potential to!), this is about having the support, funding and confidence to bring ideas to life in order to understand what works, what doesn’t and what steps they want to take next” – Lizzy Hodcroft.

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