Twelve South West England social enterprises are to benefit from £10,000 match funding from the Santander Social Enterprise Challenge, run in partnership with the UK’s largest rewards-based crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder.
The challenge was created to fund promising social enterprises from across the South West. Social enterprises launched their crowdfunding campaigns on Crowdfunder and those with the most pledges for their great ideas competed over 28 days to make it to the top six.
Crowdfunder ran multiple workshops across the South West in conjunction with the School of Social Entrepreneurs teaching crowdfunding methods, marketing skills and top tips to project owners who wished to make their great ideas happen. The challenge raised over £45,000 from 500 pledges for projects that ranged from a community radio show to independent arts centres and even an abseiling tower! The winning projects will now benefit from a share of the £10,000 match-funding prize fund from Santander.
The six winning projects are called Lives Worth Living, Go Wild Nature Kits, PenwithRadio FM Launch, The Crooked Thicket Creation Space, The Warehouse Arts CentreCIC and the Why Don’t You Club. The challenge was also supported by the Quartet Community Foundation for the West of England.
Ross Wheeler, Project Director at The Crooked Thicket in Redruth, said:
“We are delighted to not only have raised our own money with Crowdfunder, but also received match-funding from Santander. It’s great to have support from them to help grass roots projects like ours get off the ground. It’s been a brilliant experience and taught us a lot about enterprise.”
“At Santander we are committed to supporting small businesses and the Crowdfunder challenge is an innovative way to help budding entrepreneurs realise their ambitions. It’s been a great way to showcase the range of social businesses emerging in the South West”
Graeme Roy, Marketing Manager for Crowdfunder, said:
“The Santander Social Enterprise Challenge shows how Crowdfunder can work with partners in order to engage with community enterprise and change the future of finance for great ideas across the UK.
“The projects that entered the challenge benefitted not just from the match funding, provided by Santander, but also community engagement, awareness and validation of their ideas by the crowd. It’s a fantastic way to gain supporters and ambassadors to make big ideas a reality.”
Santander UK is a leading financial services provider in the UK and serves more than 14 million active customers and has approximately 24,000 employees, 1,000 branches and 50 regional Corporate Business Centres. The Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards (SEDA) were launched in 2011 and to date have supported 171 social enterprises and awarded £4 million.