Funded spaces available for The Circle Academy cohort 3

We are thrilled to be able to offer a limited number of funded spaces on cohort 3 of The Circle Academy for people who fit into any of these three categories:

  • Individual business owners who have found themselves on Universal Credit or low income as a result of pandemic who need support to pivot and grow sustainably in 2021
  • Individuals with additional support needs
  • Young entrepreneurs in the Dundee postcode area (Aged 16-24)
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What Is The Semi Circle?

The Semi Circle is a brand new programme we are launching under The Circle Academy. 2020 has seen huge changes to the way we do things, and brought our plans for a digital version of our in-person Academy programme right to the forefront. We’ve created a specialised digital learning platform from with to host our programme and populated it with new and improved content. We are very pleased to be launching the Brand New Semi Circle programme as part of this.

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You’ve heard of Social Enterprise but what does ‘More Than Profit’ mean?

From pay it forward schemes to eco friendly products, to cafes that employ individuals with additional needs, chances are you’ve know of a social enterprise or interacted with one in some way.

It was around 10 years ago that Toms, the shoe brand, hit high streets with their promise to give a pair of shoes for each one that was purchased. and it was the first time in my memory at least that a big brand had social impact built into their business model.

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Applications open for the next cohort of The Circle Academy

The Circle Academy is an intensive learning programme that provides a mixture of expert led sessions, exclusive online content including The Academy Manual, one to one practical learning and expert consultancy time to help you deliver a well researched and credible business plan, cash flow and marketing plan worthy of investment.

Over 12 weeks, it covers 12 key elements of running a More Than Profit business including entrepreneurial mindset, business planning, legal structure, governance, finance, marketing, sales and selling, teams and culture, social impact, funding and pitching.

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Why a cash flow is crucial for social entrepreneurs

A man walks into a bank, pulls out a gun and says to the clerk, “Give me all your money. I need to set myself up in new social enterprise. I need initial investment until my cash flow is established.” 

The manager turns to the clerk and says, “You’d better do what he says, I think he means business.” 

How right our robber is, any social enterprise, no matter the size or how long it has been established, needs to have a robust cash flow. Like any other business, lack of cash is one of the biggest reasons for small business failure. 

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Start up funding for social entrepreneurs in Dundee

Social entrepreneurs are being invited to pitch for a share of a £20,000 funding pot towards start-up costs for their ventures. The Circle and funding body, UnLtd, are inviting people starting up organisations or projects which will benefit the Dundee community to make a pitch about their venture to a panel of judges. Following the pitches, successful entrants will be awarded up to £5,000 to cover some of their start-up costs.

Those who are interested in this opportunity should register their interest by contacting eileeninglis@unltd.org.uk or by completing an application here: https://www.unltd.org.uk/our-work/our-focus-areas/resilient-communities

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Welcoming Alvina Menzies to the team

The Circle has welcomed a new member of staff to their team. Alvina Menzies will be joining the team as Academy Manager in August. She will be managing The Circle Academy during its third cohort beginning on September 17th and concluding in December.

The Circle Academy is our 12-week programme focused on developing skills and knowledge in the following key areas: mindset, business model, finance, legal, governance, people, social impact and sustainability through multiple income streams. The programme is now SQA accredited as a level 7 SVQ – successful candidates will complete the programme with a business plan, cashflow and marketing strategy as well as an award in ‘The Circle Academy Award in Social Entrepreneurship’.

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What is an entrepreneurial mindset? How do I develop the mindset of an entrepreneur?

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?

Entrepreneurial Mindset: a way of thinking that enables decisiveness and the ability to overcome challenges, and accept responsibility for outcomes.

It is also characterised by a constant need to improve skills, learn from mistakes, and see ideas through to fruition.

An entrepreneurial mindset can be interpreted as a refusal to fear the possibility of failing. Instead, failure is seen as a success; providing a valuable learning opportunity, prompting new approaches and acting as in indicator that the idea or approach is not viable.

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Introducing our new project: The Circle Superstars

We are excited to be introducing a new project to benefit children and young people during the lockdown. Set to launch in June, The Circle Superstars is a new initiative to provide activity packs to children and young people living in Dundee whose families currently access provisions from local food projects. The packs will include activities that will stimulate creativity while encouraging a focus on mindset, community and environment. This is a pilot project and will initially be delivered in the areas within Strathmartine Ward. This project has been funded by the Wellbeing Fund; a fund administered by the Scottish Government for organisations providing important services for people as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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