The Circle launches new initiative The Circle Academy

Local social enterprise hub, The Circle Dundee are launching a new initiative, The Circle Academy. 

The Circle hosted an evening reception to introduce The Circle Academy last night with partners Hotel Indigo.

What is The Circle Academy?

The Circle Academy is a 12-week intensive, practical and educational training programme for individuals interested in running More Than Profit businesses. The programme will provide the tools and building blocks to start, launch and grow their More Than Profit organisation and a resource bank of information and mentors to provide ongoing support and guidance as the candidate’s proposals are formulated and refined.

The Circle Academy will provide a study resource, office space, on-site training, peer-to-peer learning with other candidates, mentoring and coaching, simulated board meetings and clear objectives and outcomes for each candidate. The end goal will be to develop highly investable people, who have produced a well-researched and credible business plan worthy of investment.

They will also take part in a business plan competition where the cohort will pitch to a panel and room of investors. One successful candidate can win the income, which has been generated through 6 tasks throughout the 12-week programme.

At the end of the 12-week intensive programme, successful candidates will be offered the opportunity to attend a monthly meeting where they will receive advice and support from the Circle Academy team at no cost for a further 9 months. The Circle will also offer co-working space for successful individuals during this time. The co-working space will be the catalyst for collaboration between the existing social entrepreneur ecosystem and its new recruits.

Who is The Circle Academy programme for?

The Circle Academy is designed for people who have an idea, who are in the early stages of developing that idea and who have worked on their project in their spare time, or simply are working on the side. They don’t have funding but have made enough progress that this programme will be an excellent learning and growth opportunity. The ideal candidate might even have achieved some traction in under 3 years so that they will start the programme with momentum.

The Circle will also consider individuals, who work for existing companies and organisations, who are in CEO type roles. They are looking for people who are fully committed to their start-up and intend to work on it full-time after the programme.

The Circle’s founder and CEO Kirsty Thomson says:
‘The Circle Academy is a comprehensive and exciting new programme that is a culmination of years of research and experience raising funds and growing businesses with a More Than Profit approach.’

Partner Organisations

The Circle Academy is delivered in partnership with Resilient Scotland, GTS Solutions CIC, Future X, Scotland Can B, and Hotel Indigo.

Resilient Scotland 
provides social investment to enable organisations to have an impact on the regeneration of their communities. They have funded The Circle Academy Manager, Kara Swankie’s role.

GTS Solutions CIC
 provide knowledge and experience required to assist in running successful security and safety programs within many types of venues. They will be providing high quality speakers for The Circle Academy’s series of talks.

Future X is redefining the role of business, they support high growth, value-led leaders, who will be instrumental in transforming the economy for the better. They will be providing high quality speakers for The Circle Academy’s series of talks.

Scotland Can B is the first nationwide programme of its kind combining a nations vision to become a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship with a global movement to drive business as a force for good. They will also be providing high quality speakers for the Circle Academy’s series of talks.

Boutique Hotel Indigo® Dundee
 brings the city’s jute-spinning past back to life with its bold, minimalist design. The Circle Academy has secured accommodation at a discounted rate for their candidates through partnership with Hotel Indigo to make it easy and affordable to apply for a space on The Circle Academy with accommodation costs included.

There will also be discounted rates available to any Dundee, Tayside and Angus locals on the course who might be looking to book accommodation for a few nights

Kara Swankie Academy Manager says
‘The Circle Academy programme is long overdue not only in the 3rd sector but across all organisations. Learning practical, realistic skills which will make you more enterprising and forward thinking, will be invaluable to help your organisation grow.’

You can find out more by visiting

How can you get involved?
You can become a sponsor, teacher or speaker. There is also a prospectus available on the website and an application form for candidates to complete and return to Kara via the email address above.also contact The Circle Academy manager Kara Swankie at

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