Social Enterprise and Innovation 

Business Support Programme 

If the answer is YES or maybe... read on!

The Social Enterprise and Innovation Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide business support to  social entrepreneurs, and to support business growth for existing ventures in the west of England area; Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. 

The programme is project managed by the University of Bath in partnership with Bath SETsquared Innovation CentreThe School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE),  Voscur, and CVS South Gloucestershire.  

There are two programmes of business support available and your eligibility will depend on the stage that you are at with your venture.  Applications are now open for both programmes.   


The programme runs from October 2016 to October 2019 and there will be a rolling timetable of workshops. 

The dates for the next Startup Workshops are:

 - Bath SETsquared Innovation Centre - Thursday 14 Feb / Friday 15 Feb, Thurs 21 March / Fri 22 March 2019

 - Voscur, Bristol -  All details can be found here

    North Bristol - 2 days 9:30am - 4:30pm 7/14 February 2019, 

    East Bristol - 4 evenings - 6:00pm-9:00pm - 10/17/24 June and 1 July 2019.


If you unsure about which programme to apply for or need more information please email the programme coordinator Hayley Purps at

Individuals will be required to detail the business proposition and product / service they wish to launch, or develop as part of the application process. 

Proposed projects will be assessed for sustainability and growth potential as well as social impact. The selection panel will also be looking for a degree of innovation (in product, service or delivery). 

In association with key delivery partners 

Strategic supporters for the project are North Somerset Council & The North Somerset Enterprise Agency, Business West, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, St John’s Hospital, Ashley Community Housing, Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP and SETsquared. 

This programme is project managed by

Apply for a Startup BootcampApply for Business Incubation

Startup Workshops

Business planning workshops for new and very early stage social enterprise businesses.

Who can apply?

  • Individuals who are considering starting a social enterprise business 
  • Founders / managers of very early stage social enterprises (< 6 months old)

Business Incubation coaching

Coaching and business mentoring  for newly formed and mature social enterprises with good growth potential.

Who can apply?

  • Founders / managers of newly formed social enterprise businesses 
  • Mature SME's who are looking to further develop a social venture or initiative 

Are you (or would you like to be) a social entrepreneur? 

Do you have an idea for a sustainable business with a social purpose or are you looking for growth or funding for an existing venture? 

Case studies - supported social ventures