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FirstPort have awarded £25,000 to Think Circus CIC, a social enterprise run for young people in Leith, which uses circus skills to improve their welfare.

The founder Kat Borrowdale shared the funding pot of £100,000 with three other social entrepreneurs in the latest round of Build It Awards.

FirstPort is a social enterprise start-up agency and this funding is part of the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund. The funding is intended to allow the entrepreneur to commit to their business full time by covering living costs for a year and helping to employ staff.

Kat learned about circus as a teenager and used that personal experience to build a business creating circus groups in deprived areas. The programmes are designed to improve wellbeing through exercise and play. The all-human cast then put on shows to demonstrate their newly acquired skills.

Kat said: “Receiving a Build It award is a game-changer for us. In the short term I’m excited to grow the in-house team and set up weekly circus drop-in sessions in Leith, which will be free for those who are most in need. It’s so important that once we establish the programme it is there for years to come so that we can create meaningful connections and development for young people in the long-term. In five years’ time we can hopefully set up our own circus venue.” 

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Exec of Firstport said: “This round of Build It was extremely competitive, and truly reflective of the increasing quality of enterprises coming through our awards programme. Think Circus CIC is an exciting social enterprise which offers a novel and fun way to stay active and learn new skills to children and young people who need it the most. We’re excited to see the progression of Think Circus CIC as well as all of the social enterprises awarded in this latest round.”  

The next deadline for Build it is 26 September 2019.

Kat Borrowdale