arc competition: £30,000 for budding social entrepreneurs in Olympic Host Boroughs


Business in the Community has joined forces with Social Enterprise UK, East Thames Group & Fredericks Foundation to unearth the next big social enterprise stars in the Olympic Boroughs.

The arc Start-up Competition will award one winner in each of the boroughs (Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Waltham Forest and Barking & Dagenham) an interest free loan of up to £5,000, as well as a package of support to help them to turn business ideas into reality.

Social enterprises are businesses with a social and environmental purpose. They are uniquely placed to both tackle pressing social issues and create employment and jobs in deprived areas with research showing that they are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year*.

The arc Start up Competition is open to any individual over the age of 18, living in one of the six Olympic host boroughs with an innovative and inspiring business idea. Entrants must demonstrate that their business idea will create vital local jobs, is financially viable and will help tackle pressing social or environmental issues in their community. 

It has been launched today to mark one year of arc, Business in the Community’s campaign to support social enterprise growth and job creation in the Olympic host boroughs by connecting social entrepreneurs with expert support from business partners Deloitte, BP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, InterContinental Hotels Groups, Freshfields and Visa Europe. 

The competition prize includes:

  • An interest free loan of up to £5,000
  • Mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs and business experts
  • Membership of Social Enterprise UK, the UK’s national body for social enterprise
  • A package of practical support including office space and access to further finance

The arc Start-up Competition is open for entries from now until Friday 2 November 2012. To enter, applicants must provide a short written description of their business idea.  Each applicant will receive up to 2 hours of one-one-one business support from the organizers to develop their idea. Up to ten entrants will be shortlisted per borough and invited to pitch their idea to a panel of business and social enterprise experts, who will select one winner per borough.

To enter or for more information contact: