Category Archives: Innovation

IGNITE – the Big Energy Idea 2017

Back again in 2017, Ignite are again looking forward to advance investment readiness and idea development for the brightest in the social enterprise energy sector.

Advancing social impact in the energy sector – with the support of Centrica.

If you are over 16 years of age, resident in the UK and looking to develop your energy business potential…then you should apply to the Ignite Social Enterprise challenge. With investment available from betwwen £50k and £2m, then put your energy, enthusiasm and nascent business in the best place to ‘give it wings’.

You need to contact ignite (at ) centrica.com to discuss your idea and to obtain an application form. The deadline for the simple first round is 31st January, 2017.

You can see fuller details and the complete eligibility criteria here – http://ignitesocialenterprise.com/challenge/

 Icon for Adobe PDF   Download a pdf of Frequently Asked Questions here.

You’ll get support and a brilliant networking opportunity in the energy sector if you are successful. Don’t let the light go out on your idea…IGNITE IT


From the archive:

We last featured Ignite on the pages of Mining the SEEM in 2015. Check out that year’s process and previous winners for even more background.

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£5.5m Northern Impact Fund launches for social enterprises

 

Imaginaitive with funding, secure in it’s mission for social enterprise – The Key Fund…

Key Fund, a long-standing investor in community and social enterprises, is delivering the Northern Impact Fund, aimed at new and early stage enterprises who are seeking finance to support growth.

Matt Smith, CEO of the Key Fund, said: “With this fund we’re offering finance of up to £150k, but typical investments will be around £50k, with up to 20% of the amount available as grant. The Key Fund was one of the early pioneers in this space, and our original model was based on a grant and loan mix, so we’re really excited to be going back to that original model. It’s long been our belief that grants can play a very important role in helping new and smaller social enterprise become more robust.”

Source: The Key Fund web site – thekeyfund.co.uk  Accessed 25.09.2016

A new blended grant and loan fund, the Key Fund package looks to secure sector deals in the £5,000 to £150,000 range. Applications are accepted from across the North and Midlands, with the Fund looking to realise 46 deals a year.

At a flat rate of 6.5% interest, the average loan term secured is expected to be three years.

Interested in business development on these terms, as a social/community enterprise.  See the links below…

Find a full copy/Press Release about the new fund here

Find a full grant/investment profile for the new Fund on-line here

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Think Enterprise!

A new magazine, Think Enterprise, from the IOEE.

‘The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs has been over 15 years in the making and exists to make sure that all those involved in enterprise are able to access the support they need, when they need it’.

Whether your interest lies in tracking SFEDI Centres of Excellence or in developing apprenticeships and wider learning in business, then Think Enterprise has something of interest for you.

Be sure to check out pages 16 & 17, with their 2016 Enterprise Awards almost upon us, if only to read of the developmental success of others can in itself an inspiring and confidence building thing as you grow your own business, whatever sector you are in.

You can find the IOEE on-line here.

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Finance Innovation – the film

The Finance Innovation Lab have just launched a short film that nicely encapsulates their work, featuring the collaborative, facilitative and encouragement of change aspects of their work.

  • The Finance Innovation Lab seeks to help create alternative business models in the the finance sector.
  • It is a movement for advocacy, promoting financial sectoral change to key actors.
  • They also work to effect ‘change from within’, campaigning for the re-alignment of finance professions to a more equitable and fair model.

The Lab web site has an inciteful article, written by Angela Clements, founder of Fair For You. It shows the journey that a finance sector principal can be driven to follow, when the inequity of access to mainstream credit, for example, makes even more difficult the life of an economically disenfranchised family.

If you’re a full-on corporate banker, do watch the fim and explore the Finance Innovation Lab web pages. You might even turn a corner yourself!

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Spark your inventiveness!

The next deadline for the Design Council Spark programme is approaching on December 14th.

Design Council Spark is a product innovation fund and programme designed to fast-track products to market. Spark is looking for brilliant ideas at prototype stage.

              Source: The Design Council, December 2015

The short film below shows designer Wayne Hemingway, talking about the process of design and invention, and how the Design Council Spark Award fosters the creation of new products and enterprise to create and market your ideas.

Wayne Hemingway says ‘..ideas are free, now is the chance to make those ideas a reality…’

You can find out more about the Spark initiative from The Design Council here. The on-line access to the application process can be found here.

Your concept must be to create a physical product and you need to be UK based to qualify for entry. Up to 150,000 Pounds prize money is to be shared by the winning entries, as well as a period of development and design support to realise your dream.

Good luck with your entry!

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Missing in Action:
Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

An exciting two day event, bringing together digital academics, female entrepreneurs and women who are working or interested in creative industries and digital enterprise.

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2015 at the University of Nottingham – Book on-line here.

‘What is Missing in Action about?
A collaboration between the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Digital Women UK, this ‘thought space’ will allow female digital entrepreneurs, academics, creative practitioners and those interested in this field, to discuss professional challenges and concerns, share insights and learn from each other’s experiences and studies of digital entrepreneurship.

Why the title?
Missing in Action reflects the fact that although female digital entrepreneurs are aspiring to start up status, or are working widely in the UK, very little is known about who they are, which communities they come from, the obstacles they face and which entrepreneurial activities they are engaged or interested in.

Women of Colour are driving entrepreneurial growth overseas.
For example, statistics show that women of colour in the US are driving growth in entrepreneurial activity, much of which is underpinned by the digital environment. Yet there is no equivalent or robust information about women’s experiences in the UK.

We believe that increasing the visibility and knowledge-base around UK women working in digital will enable us to develop and champion more targeted professional support and help aspirant women decide if this is a path they want to pursue. This event is one step towards helping to fill the information vacuum’.

This article narrative: Digital Women UK

This is an important weekend event for women in digital. Read more on the event web pages here.

You can discover the training, connecting and campaigning aspects of DigitalWomenUK here.

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