Applications are now open for a programme aimed at supporting the growth of small to medium social ventures. The Barclays Social Enterprise Scale Up UK Programme has been launched by Barclays, The Big Issue and Cambridge Judge Business School to address the core challenges businesses, founders and their senior management teams face in scaling.

Delivered in a highly interactive and practical style, in partnership with the Cambridge Judge Business School, the course focuses on enhancing the performance and competitiveness of social enterprises that take part through a bespoke curriculum.

With access to global thought leaders and industry experts, and with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning, the course provides each founder, CEO and their senior management team with the techniques, strategies and commercial frameworks to scale their businesses and accelerate their ambitions. Led by Professor Stelios Kavadias and Hanadi Jabado, the programme takes a hands-on approach to solving business’s growth challenges.

A series of six workshops over 36 weeks provide access to the latest management thinking, facilitate the sharing of insights about commonly experienced challenges and explore a range of possible solutions. These are augmented by company visits by a member of the Cambridge Judge Business School team and by coaching by an experienced practitioner.

Cohorts will take place in Birmingham, Cardiff/Bristol, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.

On successfully enrolling onto the programme, the fee of £7,000 (per company) will be met and sponsored by Barclays.

John Montague, Managing Director of Group Operations at The Big Issue, says, “When it comes to scaling up, a lot of fantastic small to medium social ventures face key challenges when that, without the right level of expert guidance, can seem insurmountable. We are so pleased, working in partnership with Barclays and Cambridge Judge Business School, to be able to support those organisations with the business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference within their communities.”

“We are calling out to ambitious Social Enterprise teams and businesses that are committed to achieving extraordinary results across the UK to apply to the programme and make scaling up manageable and realistic.”

In terms of criteria, businesses that apply should be committed to growing its social impact, have scale-up potential (e.g. annual sales ranging from start-up to £20m). Businesses that put themselves forward need a positive cashflow and must have received or are looking for social investment. Lastly, the business must have a team with a proven track record and/or an entrepreneurial, ambitious, talented and broad-minded management team who are committed to growth.

Applications for The Barclays Social Enterprise Scale Up UK Programme are now open.

Visit here to apply. You can email [email protected] if you have any questions.

For more information, images and interview requests please contact Ruth Law, Group PR Manager, on 020 7526 3381 or email [email protected]


Notes to Editors

About The Big Issue

  • The Big Issue is a social enterprise which exists to dismantle poverty through creating opportunities for people and communities.
  • The Big Issue is an award-winning weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine, which offers a new hope for homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK. Vendors buy magazines for £1.50 and sell to the public for £2.50, keeping the difference. In this way the magazine provides them with the means to earn a legitimate income.
  • Vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face a range of issues, but all are experiencing the effects of poverty. Upon becoming a Big Issue vendor they receive training, are allocated a fixed pitch from which to vend, and must agree to adhere to a code of conduct whilst selling the magazine.
  • Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue magazine have been sold by over 100,000 vulnerable people.
  • Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue magazine, currently holds the position of Chair of PPA Scotland. He was named BSME’s British Editor of the Year in 2013 and 2016, and PPA Scotland Editor of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
  • The Big Issue Foundation is the organisation’s charitable arm, which exists to link vendors with the vital support which will help them address the issues which have led or contributed to their circumstances. The Foundation works exclusively with vendors, offering support, advice and referrals.
  • Founded in 2005, Big Issue Invest (BII) is the social investment arm of The Big Issue which extends the organisation’s mission to dismantle poverty through creating opportunity. BII offers loans and investment from £20,000 to £3 million to social enterprises and charities across the UK. The capital raised by BII is from private sources and not from sales of the magazine. Big Issue Invest currently manages or advises on £170 million of social funds.
  • For further information please go to

About Barclays

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people worldwide. We move, lend, invest and protect money worldwide. Whether your business is expanding or just getting off the ground, we can help you plan for future success.