Case Studies

Social enterprise experiences 300% increase in demand during lockdown

Love Learning, a social enterprise specialising in the delivery of social care across the central belt, has praised support from Business Gateway.

Please note that this photo was taken pre-COVID-19 and the introduction of physical distancing measures.

About the business

Lanarkshire-based Love Learning is a social enterprise business that bridges the gap between social care and education. It funds services for vulnerable groups and provides education and training opportunities for those wishing to work in the care sector, with offices based in Fenwick, Stirling, and Gorgie in Edinburgh.

I have a long-term relationship with Business Gateway, who I initially approached in 2015 with just a spark of an idea. They helped me grow it into Love Learning and have been a vital source of support ever since, ensuring that the business was in a strong position operationally.

How Business Gateway has helped

Since the social enterprise was launched in 2015, founder Lynn Bell has received a wide variety of support from Scotland’s national business advice service, Business Gateway. This has included 1:1 support, advice on marketing and signposting to relevant funding opportunities that have enabled the growth of the business and ensured Love Learning has the capacity to facilitate the increased demand for services.

Prior to lockdown, the organisation was providing an average of 1000 hours of care services a week. But since March, this has increased three-fold to 4000 care hours, and the team anticipates further increased demand following the end of the furlough scheme in October.

Love Learning is one of the first social enterprises to be accepted into the Scottish Enterprise Growth portfolio and is now working with Business Gateway on the development of a digital tool that will drive improvements across the care industry. This will be progressed following the completion of a feasibility study that is ongoing, and which was supported by a grant application signposted by Business Gateway.

Lynn Bell, Founder of Love Learning, said: “I have a long-term relationship with Business Gateway, who I initially approached in 2015 with just a spark of an idea. They helped me grow it into Love Learning and have been a vital source of support ever since, ensuring that the business was in a strong position operationally. They also helped increase my knowledge, as I was a firefighter before this, and I did not really know how to run my own business. However, the team were incredible and soon I was up and running.

“Like other care organisations, we have experienced phenomenal demand for our services since March, but with help from Business Gateway, we had the capacity and resource to manage this.

Business Gateway also provided support across areas such as financial restructuring, innovation development and international exporting advice.

Support Provided

1:1 Business Support

Scottish Enterprise Support

Financial Restructuring Advice or Support

Specialist Support

Signposting to Wider Support Network

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