From a tool sharing library to a fathers charity; a hub to learn repair skills to drama for the elderly, The Melting Pot’s acclaimed ‘Good Ideas Academy’ has been helping the unusual suspects make their good ideas a thriving reality since 2011.

The ‘Good Ideas Academy’ is now calling all budding entrepreneurs, social innovators and those with good ideas that can change the world to apply for this year’s Free programme – open now until Sun 16 October.

Creating a non-profit organisation can be a daunting prospect. However this free, six month programme helps people test out their ideas, put them into action, in order to make a real, long-term difference to society. This year they are particularly keen to hear from people whose idea:

  • has been inspired by personal experience of a particular problem or issue.
  • involves a creative approach to improving the lives of people or the environment.

As Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation and pioneers of co-working in Scotland, The Melting Pot is dedicated to supporting all varieties of people and organisations that are seeking to do good in the world, no matter the scale. Since its launch ‘The Good Ideas Academy’ has underpinned that mission by providing a valuable incubation programme to over 50 founders. These include success stories such as music innovators, Tinderbox; environmental enterprise, Remade in Edinburgh; social campaign initiative, Fathers Network Scotland and community resource, Edinburgh Tool Library, who have just been named Social Enterprise of the Year at the Buchanan Business Awards.

Applications are open to anyone who has an idea for tackling social change and can be made on the website — Start Here. Open now until Sunday 16 October 2016.

Claire Carpenter The Melting Pot founder and MD says: ‘If you’re considering creating something with social impact at its heart I would strongly recommend coming on our incubation programme. There’s nothing else like it in Scotland and it can be the difference between success and failure.’

Briana Pegado, founder of Edinburgh Student Arts Festival says: ‘The programme gave me a framework to understand what business is and what social enterprise is. It was a great anchor, a support system, and great training for me to be able to set up the business initially, and then move forward and scale it up.’

Chris Hellawell, founder of Edinburgh Tool Library says: ‘When you’re setting up a new business or social enterprise it’s often quite isolating, you spend a lot of time working on your own because you’re starting off small.  Being part of the programme has been really important, it provides a place where you can be with other likeminded people learning together.’


Notes to Editors

The Good Ideas Academy

Is organised by The Melting Pot with support from The Scottish Government, The People’s Postcode Trust, Creative Scotland and Awards for All

The Good Ideas Academy offers valuable support, resources, mentoring, workshops and guidance from leaders in the field of creating business for social change. Beginning with the Good Ideas Camp, 25 applicants will be invited to attend two weekend intensives, which will provide a safe space to experiment, examine, dissect and shape their initial idea into something tangible. The 10 most promising of these will then be supported for a further 6 months as the Good Ideas Class of 2017, where they will receive practical advice, workshops, one-to-one mentoring and make valuable connections to get their business up and running. Upon graduation they will become part of the strong Good Ideas Alumni network to continue the support. Each of the stages are free, and applications are open to anyone at the early and emerging stages of creating non-profit organisations that will achieve social impact.

The Good Ideas Academy was previously named – Social Innovation Incubator Scotland (SIIA)

More information available here:

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation. They provided dynamic resources for social change makers – helping people to work, meet, learn and connect. An early UK pioneer of ‘coworking’ they support over 150 members to succeed from throughout Scotland, and have a niche business incubation programme specifically to help start-up social entrepreneurs to ignite their great idea for a better world.

More information available here: