Who can join the Social Incubator East programme?

The programme is open for applications from people who are running social ventures, or have an idea for a social venture, and that are based in and mainly operate in England.

Should I join the Social Incubator East programme?

Absolutely! If you have a business idea or proposal and would like to give it a try, feel free to apply. Just make sure you fulfill the mentioned requirements in the above question.

How long does the programme last?

The full Social Incubator East programme lasts 12 months.

What is the application process?

Generally ventures are recruited from the Social Venture Weekends run as part of the programme, but you can also apply without attending one of these. Get in touch to discuss further.

What is the criteria for acceptance on to the programme?

Social Incubator East aims to support social ventures to grow. This means helping them to increase revenues and profitability and to increase their social impact. Ventures are chosen to join the programme who we think have the most potential to grow and deliver increased social impact. This involves assessing both the people involved and the proposition.

How do the loans work?

Foundation East, one of the partners, runs a dedicated, discounted loan fund for Social Incubator East ventures and we also have our business relationships with some Government sectors that allow us funds. Business advisors will work with ventures to develop loan applications. Loans can be up to £100,000.

What office space is available?

Our main office space is at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge. Each venture is offered sufficient space for them and their team in a flexible, friendly, semi-open plan environment. There is also space at the Keystone Innovation Centre in Thetford. Finally, in exceptional circumstances, office space may be secured elsewhere.

In case you are not located in Cambridge, don’t worry. We encourage applications from ventures across the region. If you already have an office space, or need to be located elsewhere, you can still join the programme and receive the rest of the support on offer.

How is Social Incubator East funded?

Social Incubator East is an intiative of Allia and is funded by the Cabinet Office and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund with additional contributions from all the partners (Cambridge Judge Business School, Foundation East and Keystone Development Trust).

What is a social venture?

A social venture is one where creating social impact is a central to the business model. The venture will balance the generation of profit and commercial activity with the delivery of social impact. The entrepreneur will be motivated by social impact (as well as financial reward) and will be transparent in measuring that impact. Social Ventures can have a range of different legal structures – including regular limited companies.

Are environmental ventures eligible?

Social Incubator East is funded to support social ventures so a community energy company that has a social impact would be eligible, but a business focusing solely on environmental outcomes would not be.

What does it cost?

The attendance costs £50 per the “director” of a team, although each co-worker from your business/company is required to pay £25 additional fee. All those who join the three-day training session are required to pay £100. Besides these payment requirements, no other payment is obliged.