At Startup Grind Scotland, we know that starting and growing a business is not just about product, services, investment and the bottom line. It’s also about people, fairness and doing your part to make the world we live in just that little bit better. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs start businesses solely to make a profit and live the high life. More and more entrepreneurs are placing a mission to do good and change the world at the very heart of what they do.
Whether you’re building a not-for-profit social enterprise, or a profit-making business with a social mission, Scotland is an incredible place to access support, funding and like-minded people who will validate and champion your vision.
With that in mind, Startup Grind Scotland is excited to partner with Firstport for this action-packed event, where we’ll discuss the current social business landscape with industry and investment experts as well as an entrepreneur who’s well on their way with a mission-driven business. We’ll cover the rise in socially-driven entrepreneurship, why purpose makes business sense, impact, intention, governance, the minefield of investment and funding, and the reality of navigating all of this, and more, as you grow your business.
Daisy Ford-Downes, Head of Group Investment Programmes at Firstport
Daisy is Head of Group Investment Programmes at Firstport, Scotland’s agency for startup social entrepreneurs, where she oversees repayable investment programmes. She is also Chapter Lead for Zebras Unite Edinburgh and a venture scout for a fund investing in underrepresented founders. Daisy’s career in finance and investment has included roles at Deloitte, the Scottish Investment Bank and Foundation Scotland. As an innovative finance enthusiast, Daisy is interested in how doing business differently can get more great ideas into the world, with a particular focus on risk capital for early stage impact ventures.
Colin McMillan, Investment and Growth Manager at Firstport
Colin is Firstport’s Investment and Growth Manager, with responsibility for the accelerator programmes, including LaunchMe, which develops Scotland’s high growth social enterprises. Colin’s role is key to developing pipeline into various investment programmes, including Boost It, LaunchMe and the Catalyst Fund. Drawing on experience from the leisure, education and public sectors, Colin now works with passionate social entrepreneurs to help them realise their potential and create impactful organisations.
Trudi Donahue, Director at Wild & Kind CIC
Trudi is an excellent example of a bootstrapping social entrepreneur with both purpose and profit in her scope. In 2017, Trudi founded Wild & Kind to tackle the problems of social isolation and anxiety among people with marginalised gender identities. The Community Interest Company, which first centred on running grassroots arts and craft-based community events and has now scaled into ethical garment printing, embroidery and providing various wellbeing, training and creative support programmes from their Studios in Glasgow. Trudi has successfully navigated the social business support landscape, growing the business and the team through accessing funding initiatives from bodies, including Firstport.
For the uninitiated, Firstport supports social entrepreneurs in Scotland who are developing ideas with social or environmental impact at their core. They offer everything you need to get your idea off the ground, including business support, grants and social investment.
Whether you want to develop or legitimise a social enterprise idea you have, or get advice on a ‘profit with purpose’ business, Firstport has expert advisors with years of experience to help you get on the right path. Find out more HERE.
About The Melting Pot
Situated behind Edinburgh Waverly Station, The Melting Pot (TMP) is Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation and pioneers of coworking in the UK. The space brings together interesting people who do interesting things, to develop a dynamic and diverse community that shared a sense of collective purpose and reach.
TMP provides a range of resources and services to support and inspire our pioneering coworking community, leading the way in ensuring creative, resilient and effective social innovation takes its essential place at the heart of a vibrant society. Find out more HERE