Margate Mercury founder awarded match trading grant and learning programme place

Clare Freeman and magazine designer Lizzy Tweedale

Margate Mercury founder Clare Freeman is one of 100 people in the country to have been selected for a competitive learning programme and match trading grant of up to £10,000.

More than 330 people across England applied for the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme supports people improving their local communities through trade.

The programme will support Clare to grow the Margate Mercury, which produces a free quarterly magazine and also has a community hub and shop, The Margate Mercury Hub.

Clare will soon begin a six-month learning programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which supports people starting up and running social enterprises, charities, community business and environmental projects.

She said: “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Community Business Trade Up Programme. The programme and match trading grant will help me grow The Margate Mercury, so I can support more people in Margate in 2018.”

The Margate Mercury is a free, quarterly, independent magazine about Margate that was launched in June 2016. The Margate Mercury Hub – a new workspace for the magazine team, shop and community – opened in November 2017.

Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Clare onto the programme, where she’ll learn alongside other community leaders how to create lasting social impact for the region. We are confident Clare  has the entrepreneurial qualities and motivation to increase her impact on Margate even further, which is why we have awarded her a highly-coveted place.”

The £10,000 Match Trading grant

The Margate Mercury will also be one of the first organisations in the world to receive a Match Trading grant of up to £10,000. Match Trading is a new type of funding for socially-led organisations. It matches an increase in sales pound-for-pound, incentivising social entrepreneurs to find ways to earn more money, which they use to help more people or the environment.

Match Trading was created by the School for Social Entrepreneurs with the support of pioneer partners Lloyds Banking Group and the Big Lottery Fund, and programme partner Power to Change. Power to Change has provided the funding for this programme.