Charity registered in Scotland SC037942
Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise. We enable early stage social enterprises and highly-motivated individuals to test, refine and grow their ideas into viable social businesses.
Reporting to: Head of Programmes
Firstport is looking for a [Programme Manager] with a background in community engagement and a track record of using user-centred service design methodologies to help us shape, launch and deliver our new Social Innovation Challenge. Building on the success of our previous Social Innovation Competition, Firstport aims to launch a redesigned programme to support innovative and collaborative social enterprise solutions to challenges facing individuals, communities and the environment.
This refreshed iteration of the competition will be based on a ‘challenge prize’ approach, where a specific problem or challenge is posed, and individuals and businesses are invited to provide enterprising, innovative solutions to address it.
The challenge will be aimed at the aspiring and early-stage social entrepreneurs currently supported by Firstport as well as new potential participants, partners and stakeholders within the wider Scottish ecosystem. The format of the challenge will be led by the communities engaged, but it is envisaged that collaboration among challenge participants will be encouraged and that successful challenge participants will receive funding to kickstart/deliver their proposals, together with tailored business support
The Social Innovation Challenge will address annual themes, with the first round building on the legacy of COP26 and seeking solutions to climate challenge issues facing rural communities.
Highly organised, dynamic and a strong networker, the successful candidate will have good knowledge of user research and service design methodologies. They will demonstrate experience in supporting people from a wide range of backgrounds to design new products or services or come up with solutions to specific issues or problems. Experience of previous work on a challenge model would be an advantage.
The successful candidate will have excellent written and spoken communication skills and be confident presenting to different audiences. They will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of social enterprise and social innovation, and of the opportunities and challenges for start-ups and early-stage enterprises.
Applications from freelancers interested in developing the programme on a project basis may be considered.
Reporting to: SEF Programme Manager
Start date: ASAP
We are looking for a confident, experienced individual with excellent analytical skills, a commitment to creating social change and a desire to help others succeed.
Your role will involve managing Firstport’s relationships with its applicants and awardees across all programmes. While focusing primarily on application assessment, award management and follow-up, you will be in charge of building long-term relationships with successful applicants and generally stay with them for the length of their relationship with Firstport, supporting them to transition between programmes.
The role requires excellent judgment skills to filter and assess applications in line with funding criteria and provide recommendations to panels. You will also have excellent communication skills to maintain direct contact with applicants at various stages in their respective journeys and to liaise with relevant stakeholders and strategic partners.
You should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of a range of business models, and the obstacles faced by new enterprises. You will be expected to contribute with creative ideas to increase the reach and availability of the fund to people from all areas and backgrounds. Ideally, you will have prior experience in grant management and in working with start-ups and/or social enterprises as well as a track record of building relationships across the third, private and public sectors.
The role is fast-paced, and you will work with a caseload of projects at different levels of development, so the ability to multi-task, prioritise and work to tight deadlines is essential.
Firstport are looking for a motivated individual with excellent people and communication skills, practical knowledge of business start-up and the ability to assist social entrepreneurs in the early stages of setting up their enterprises.
The role is client-facing, and you will be confident providing support on a tailored, one to one basis (face to face, digital, telephone), as well as on a group basis in workshops and events. Ideally, you will have experience in setting up an enterprise and a good understanding of the wider social enterprise ecosystem.
You will contribute to the successful delivery of the Just Enterprise programme, as well as support your colleagues in the delivery and outreach of other Firstport programmes across Scotland.
This is a varied, mostly autonomous role and you will have the freedom to use your previous skills and experience to decide the best approach to support emerging social entrepreneurs. You will have a busy workload, so you will be expected to manage your time effectively to make sure our contractual targets are achieved whilst maintaining an outstanding service to your clients.
While this role is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced advisor, we will also consider applications from candidates who have not yet gained sufficient experience but have a good business grounding, are interested in a career in social enterprise support and are willing to learn from our team of advisors.
Firstport is Scotland’s agency for start-up social entrepreneurs. We are a small, ambitious group of companies with a Scotland-wide footprint providing high-quality, sustainable services to develop social business start-ups. We are looking for up to three new board members to broaden and strengthen the skills and experience of our existing board.
As a board member, you will oversee our governance and financial arrangements, ensuring that we operate in line with best practice and our charitable objectives. You will play an important role in our future direction and will provide support and motivation to the board and the Chief Executive.
We are particularly interested in applications from individuals who can demonstrate specialist knowledge, skills, and/or experience in one or more of the following fields:
• Early-stage investment and finance for scale
• Impact Assessment and/or Management
• Data Driven Innovation
• Setting up and/or running a social enterprise/social venture
• Climate Change/Net Zero
As accredited Investors in Diversity, we are committed to making our Board balanced and diverse, reflecting the people and communities we work with. We particularly encourage applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds, abilities, ages, and geographies. It is important that the lived experience of social entrepreneurs is represented within our board, and we welcome applications from individuals who have led a social business.