Earlier this month we welcomed 19 established social innovators to The Melting Pot for the Good Ideas Catalyst. The Good Ideas Catalyst is our incubation programme for Social Intrapreneurs – 2 intensive, facilitated days to help them develop the next stage of their non-profit.

The Melting Pot, Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation, has been running a specialist social innovation incubation programme, the Good Ideas Academy for five years. The Good Ideas Academy has been aimed at start-ups and to date over 60 new organisations have been created. But, we know that existing enterprises also need support to help them develop and grow.


The Good Ideas Catalyst is designed to do exactly that: to provide a space for established social innovators who want to hash out their next steps. The programme, funded by Scottish Government, involved a 2 day facilitated process focused on business development – be this expanding into new products and services or increasing social impact.

The course was facilitated by, Founder and Managing Director of The Melting Pot, Claire Carpenter and Jane Bruce, Director of Social Impact at Social Bite and board member of The Melting Pot. Claire explained the inspiration behind the Good Ideas Catalyst,

Maturing and established organisations are looking for ways to increase their scope and grow. We want to make sure they succeed in that. Applying known techniques for ideation and design thinking to shape their business model delivers inclusive growth.”

Amongst the 19 established organisations in attendance were: renowned social enterprise Social Bite; the non-profit, student-led consultancy FreshSight; and The Junction, founded in 2005 to improve the health and well-being of young people in Leith, Edinburgh. The full list of organisations who participated can be found at the end of this blog.

Jonny Kinross

Over the course of the 2 days attendees produced business model canvasses, participated in speed pitching and prototyping exercises and discussed growing pains and pleasures. They also heard from Jonny Kinross, Chief Executive of the Grassmarket Community Project.

Alister Reid from Sported had this to say about his Good Ideas Catalyst experience, “I definitely see the value in entrepreneurial groups or voluntary led groups, who don’t have large team on board, being able to focus on idea development. The value in bringing it all back to the customer and the business model, which I think a lot of, specifically voluntary led, groups can lose sight of.”

Participants in the Good Ideas Catalyst 2017:

Andrew & Mark from Supporters Direct Scotland

Lauren and Calum from Scarf

Sam from The Junction – Young People, Health & Wellbeing

Marit from Powellite

Lorna from Crossreach

Alister and Campbell from Sported

Mary and Darryl from The Reward Foundation

Ruth from Keep Your Shoes Dirty

Claire and Clare from Quay Community Improvements CIC

Lina and Andrew from FreshSight

Jan and Fiona from FABB Scotland

Ewain from Social Bite

For more information get in contact.