The Social Innovation Challenge is seeking innovative solutions that address the rising cost of living

Published: May 15, 2023


The Social Innovation Challenge funds and supports innovators to kick-start solutions that tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time. The programme is centred around a theme each year. The 2023 theme is focused on issues connected with the rising cost of living.

The rising cost of living is not one single issue. It is made up of various problems: most notably, the increase in energy prices, but also the rising cost of food and transportation, as well as the ongoing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as isolation, mental health problems, stretched services and changes in the employment market. The situation can also affect certain groups of people disproportionately, resulting in deepening inequalities.

As a result, the 2023 edition of the Social Innovation Challenge is looking to support a new social enterprise idea for removing the deep-rooted obstacles that prevent individuals and communities from living fulfilling and dignified lives, particularly in light of the current rising cost of living. It is inviting applications from established social enterprises, unincorporated groups, community associations or individuals with an idea for a project which can evidence the following:

  • Innovation
  • Direct social impact
  • Potential for income generation
  • Long-term sustainability
  • Community involvement

The programme will award £50,000 in grant funding to support the development of the winning solution, as well as tailored support to help launch and implement it. The programme is delivered by Firstport on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Potential applicants are invited to fill in an Expression of Interest and discuss their questions during an informal chat with the Programme Manager, prior to submitting an application. For more information visit

The programme will close for applications at noon on Monday 31 July.

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