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The programme

Accelerate is a partnership between Scottish Community Alliance and Community Enterprise and is intended as a programme of business support for community based organisations who have little or no trading experience but wish to expand this aspect of their operation. 


Organisations who would qualify (through their trading levels) to receive Just Enterprise support will continue to do so and are not eligible for EA support. EA support is also not available to individual social entrepreneurs. Eligible organisations must either be members of networks that form part of Scottish Community Alliance or have a sufficient relationship with one of these networks for the network to feel able to endorse their initial enquiry. They must be constituted in some way and hold a bank account.

So while this new programme is to support the development of early enterprise activity within the sector, Accelerate is also a recognition that supporting social enterprise activity within community led organisations presents a number of distinct challenges that are not present within other forms of social enterprise.

The programme will operate on two levels

Level 1 support, will be delivered by Community Enterprise and will be triggered on receipt of a completed initial enquiry from an organisation. To qualify, the organisation’s application must be endorsed by a member network of SCA. (in the same way that access to the Community Learning Exchange is obtained). The scope and length of Level 1 support will vary depending on the nature of the enquiry but typically it will consist of a financial/organisational health check, an appraisal of the business options and will result in an action plan agreed between the organisation and the business advisor from Community Enterprise.

Level 2 support will be whatever is agreed in the action plan up to a maximum of 8 days (this will include the number of days committed during Level 1 – currently the same as Just Enterprise). This may well adjust as we learn from early experience of how much time needs to be committed to Level 1 support. Level 2 support is likely to be bespoke support tailored to the requirements identified through the health check and appraisal of business options. The question of who should deliver this support will be agreed and signed off by the client organisation in the action plan.


SCA networks are being encouraged to promote Accelerate to their members as a resource and an additional benefit of membership of that network. Each network is being asked to consider whether an initial enquiry from one of the members is an appropriate application for Level 1 support and endorse it accordingly. The network will be copied into the final action plan that emerges from the Level 1 support. Indeed, they may be identified as the provider of that required bespoke support.



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