Community bakery to expand across Scotland

Community bakery to expand across Scotland

A community bakery in Edinburgh has secured investment to franchise its business model across Scotland.

Social enterprise Breadshare provides organic and nutritious bread and offers a variety of activities to enhance community life in Edinburgh.

The investment, made by former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant, has secured Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) and was facilitated by social enterprise start up agency Firstport.

The bakery, set up by husband and wife team Debra and Geoff, is one of 14 businesses on Firstport’s LaunchMe, Scotland’s first accelerator for early stage social enterprises.

Delivered by Firstport and funded by Big Lottery Scotland, the accelerator is designed to grow the social investment market in Scotland.

Firstport identifies the most ambitious, early stage social enterprises in Scotland, provides one-to-one business support and connects them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns.

The participants can also apply for matched non-repayable grant funds from Big Lottery Scotland, as well as initial seed funding.

Marchant said: “I was looking for my first investment in social enterprise and there were two features about Breadshare that caught my attention: It is based in my home city and it operates in the hospitality industry, a sector that interests me.

“I asked a trusted colleague with a background in the industry to investigate the opportunity further, and after she gave her the seal of approval, I decided to go ahead with the investment.”