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Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP Christina McKelvie has urged local entrepreneurs to apply for investment from a new ‘Big Energy Idea’ Accelerator Programme – aimed at turning an innovative energy idea into a reality. The multi-million pound ‘Ignite’ fund is backed by Scottish Gas owner Centrica. 

The criteria for the fund is that the idea must make a positive difference to society. Successful applicants will receive a package of pre-investment support including specialist knowledge from Centrica experts as well as the opportunity to apply for investment.

Ignite is the UK’s first impact investment fund that focuses on providing energy firms with the funding and expertise they need to help achieve their potential and make a positive impact on society. Since 2014 the programme has supported more than 25 enterprises across the country committing investment totalling £8 million so far to businesses that are passionate about building a better and more energy efficient future.

Enterprises must submit their applications to the Big Energy Idea before 31 January. If shortlisted they will be asked to pitch to a panel of industry and social enterprise experts in February.

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Commenting Ms McKelvie said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for local entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to secure financial investment and support through the Ignite ‘Big Energy Idea’ Accelerator Programme – and turn their innovative energy idea into a reality. 

“Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse is home to some of the most creative and dynamic small businesses throughout Scotland. This fund directly helps those whose intention is to help others.

“The only criteria for the fund is that the idea must make a positive difference to the local community and wider society.  Successful applicants receive a whole host of help, including pre-investment packages and specialist support.

“I would encourage all my constituents to turn their big energy idea into a reality through the fund.

Sam Salisbury, Investment Principal at Ignite said:

"If you've got an innovative energy idea that will have a positive social impact, or know someone else that does, we want to hear from you!"

"We're looking for enterprises who need help to get their idea or business plan investment-ready. If successful, you'll not only receive a package of bespoke pre-investment support through mentoring and workshops via the Accelerator Programme, but you'll also have the opportunity to pitch for funding worth £50k - £2m which will really help get your idea off the ground".