Accelerate progamme FAQs 


What is the Accelerate programme?

The core purpose of the Accelerate programme is to support non-trading organisations to cope with change and find their own way to reach greater sustainability.  


Who is Community Enterprise?

Community Enterprise is a leading consultancy and support agency providing business support to social enterprises and development support to communities


What do you mean by ‘non-trading’?

Some groups may identify as social enterprises and some may not.  We view trading largely as selling goods or services to the general public, other organisations or the local community.  This will include competitive tendering.  

Low level trading could be things like spring fairs, coffee mornings, donations based film nights.  We would not view this as commercial trading. 

We work closely with Just Enterprise and may discuss clients with them to decide mutually the best support route.

If you are not sure whether you are ‘trading’, just complete the Expression of Interest form and we will discuss it with you.


What do you mean by asset locked?

Asset locked just means that any surpluses you make are reinvested back into the organisation or the community and that no private individual benefits beyond salaries and out of pocket expenses.  


What if we are not asset locked and are a profit making enterprise?

You won’t be eligible for the programme but we can refer to you onto one of the local or national enterprise agencies.


Where does this reach geographically?

This is a truly national programme and we have supported groups from the Shetlands to the Borders.


What if we are based outside Scotland?

If you are headquartered outside Scotland, you need to show that the majority of your beneficiaries are in Scotland.


Is there any restriction on turnover or size?

No, this is open to all organisations that fit the criteria.


What if we are a trading social enterprise?

When a group is trading commercially and requiring focussed commercial support, we would refer you to Just Enterprise.  But if you fill in an expression of interest form for Accelerate we will make the link.


What if it is not clear?

We have a close working relationship with Just Enterprise and can discuss with them who is best to provide the support you need. If you are unsure, complete an Expression of Interest form and we can take it from there.


What if I am an individual with a good idea?

 If you are an individual with an enterprising social idea, we would refer you to First Port. It may be possible for us to work alongside First Port to help you develop your plans. If you are unsure, complete an Expression of Interest form and we will discuss it with you.


Is there funding?

No, it is fully funded through the Accelerate programme, by the Scottish Government.


What if we are not yet constituted?

If you are a group of people but are not yet constituted, we are very happy to support your idea and part of that support could be help with legal structures.


Is this a structured programme?  What do I need to commit?

No. This is not a structured support programme that participants join. It is time with a consultant who will work with you and your group. Support is very flexible, based on your needs, delivered at the pace you need it and is free.  


What do we need to provide?

You only need to provide your time.  The more the staff, volunteers and board commit, the more useful it will be.


What support can we get?

We provide a wide range of support including funding strategies, business planning, marketing and branding plans, finance and budgeting, digital development, governance audits and training, legal structure guidance, support to explore new trading ideas and proving / improving impactAll our support is tailored to your needs and designed to help get you to the next stage of development.  


What happens after I complete the Expression of Interest?

If you are ineligible, we will refer you to an appropriate programme.  If you are eligible, we will undertake what we call a Health Check.  This is a simple process to get to know you and to help us work out what support would be most useful.  


Can we get more than one piece of support or support for different things?

Yes.  We can only deliver one piece of work at a time but once that is completed, you are welcome to come back again for a new piece of work.


What does ‘aftercare’ mean?

We are committed to keeping in touch to see how you are progressing.  Support is directly related to the sustainability or trading idea, not general organisational mentoring.

We will refer groups into other support networks quickly so they can get broader long term support from the appropriate agency (nationally, locally or thematically).


What other support exists?

We will refer you to the right support but you can have a look on this map to see what is available in Scotland. Social Enterprise Support Map Scotland


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