A ground-breaking new funding model for social entrepreneurs launches today, developed by School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) with the support of pioneer partners Lloyds Banking Group and National Lottery Funding through the Big Lottery Fund.

Match Trading™ incentivises social entrepreneurs to grow their business through trading, so they become more sustainable. Match Trading grants match, pound-for-pound, an increase in trading income. Lloyds Banking Group is the first financial institution to support this type of innovation to help social entrepreneurs to sustain and grow their businesses, through providing crucial funding and business mentoring support. Through supporting social entrepreneurs, the partnership delivers a key target within the Group’s commitment to help Britain prosper.

Match Trading grants empower social entrepreneurs to double their income from trading (up to the amount of Match Trading grant on offer). Match Trading has already run a successful pilot with a cohort of social entrepreneurs on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, run in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, and jointly funded by National Lottery Funding through the Big Lottery Fund. The social entrepreneurs achieved on average 92% year-on-year increase in trading income, when offered a Match Trading grant of up to £7,000, and supported by a 14-day learning programme. Match Trading will support at least 500 more social entrepreneurs over the next five years.

Match Trading helps social entrepreneurs to increase the viability of their organisations by incentivising them to explore new markets, test out new trading methods and diversifying income streams. This more entrepreneurial approach to their business sees less reliance on traditional grant funding and encourages sustainable business behaviours.

Fiona Cannon OBE, Group Director of Responsible Business and Inclusion, Lloyds Banking Group, said:

“We are proud that Lloyds Banking Group is leading the way in supporting social entrepreneurs. We know that funding can be a real challenge for start-up businesses and this pioneering new model will allow us to help drive entrepreneurial behaviours, while increasing business sustainability and trading income. Through helping them to deliver for their community and the wider economy, we can also deliver on our commitment to helping Britain prosper.”

Alistair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs said:

“We have worked in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group for over five years and it is fantastic to have them on board as we launch Match Trading. Lloyds Banking Group provides the crucial support we need to deliver this innovation in grant-funding to hundreds of social entrepreneurs. We have developed Match Trading to bolster the sustainability of social enterprises – organisations that are a vital lifeline for the most vulnerable in society, and that positively impact communities and the environment.”

Lloyds Banking Group already supports social entrepreneurs through the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, run in partnership with SSE and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund. The programme supports entrepreneurs starting or scaling a social business for the benefit of their community through the provision of a 14-day learning programme with SSE, a year-long Lloyds Banking Group mentoring support and grant of up to £10,000 to support their business. Through the programme, Lloyds Banking Group will support 2,350 social entrepreneurs to start and scale a social business by 2020.