A government-backed business scheme to support local social enterprises launched in Croydon this week.
The program is being run by SE-Assist, a business support organisation that launched a similar scheme in Brighton & Hove last year.
Successful applicants to the program will receive an interest free loan between £10,000 and £30,000, along with employment mentoring and access to financial experts.
Sarah Watkins, founder of the Brighton based ParentSkool, a social enterprise providing antenatal classes for first time parents, has praised the scheme.
She said: “The financial support I got from the SE-Assist program enabled me to create the necessary foundations for by business.”
“Nine months later, Parentskool is an award winning social enterprise, with eight teachers, two other members of staff and a very bright future.”
“My attendance on this program has been absolutely crucial to our ongoing success and I would whole heartedly recommend it to any other social enterprise.”
Coun Vidi Mohan, head of communities and economic development for Croydon Council said: “This is a real opportunity for anyone who has a business idea with a social purpose, to get some advice and backing to get their scheme off the ground.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing some inspirational new enterprises make a difference in our borough.”
Business proposals, based within Croydon can be submitted to SE-Assist until April 10.