1. When are the SoUK.LB interviews taking place: for idea stage? for Growth stage?

Idea stage interviews will occur on a rolling basis once you have submitted your application and will be completed by October 12th. Growth stage enterprises will be interviewed on October 16th and 17th.

  1. Does SoUK.LB take equity?

SoUK.LB does not take equity. The funding provided by SoUK.LB at the acceleration phase and growth-stage phase are grants that do not take equity.

  1. How much funding do we receive? At what stage will the funding be executed?

For idea stage startups, funding of 15,000 pounds will be provided at the acceleration stage. For those startups that make it through Sprint and Bootcamp, you will be eligible to be accepted into the accelerator and receive these funds.

For growth stage startups, training will begin in mid-November and enterprises will receive 30,000 pounds.

  1. What are the different stages of the program if I come with an idea?

Accepted idea-stage applications will first participate in Impact Sprint: October 13th-15th

Winners of Impact Sprint will graduate to Bootcamp: October 16th-November 13th (2 workshops per week)

Eligible and Qualified startups from Bootcamp may be accepted into the Acceleration phase November 13th-February 2017.

  1. What is the process for the Growth Stage?

Accepted applications at growth-stage will be asked for interviews with a panel of judges on October 16 and 17th. Those that are accepted and meet the criteria will participate in the growth stage training beginning in mid-November and receive 30,000 pounds in funding.

  1. What are the key dates to remember?

Impact Startup Sprint - October 13t-15th, 2017

Bootcamp - October 16th-November 13th, 2017

Acceleration Program - November 13th-February 2018

Growth-stage training - November 13th-February 2018

  1. Where will the sessions be taking place?

All session will take place at Beirut Digital District

  1. Should I quit my job to join the program?

Quitting your job is not required to join the program.

  1. In what language will the trainings be delivered?


  1. We’ve already been through a number of accelerators, what advantages do we have in applying to this one ?

One of the primary differentiators of the SoUK.LB program is that we will be taking a long-term approach in the support we provide social enterprises. For instance, if you apply at the idea stage, we hope that once you graduate you can qualify for the SoUK.LB growth stage if the program is renewed and eventually for Alfanar’s own portfolio which provides social enterprises up to 300K in funding. Similarly, if you apply to the SoUK.LB growth stage, you can eventually also qualify for Alfanar’s own portfolio upon graduation.

In addition, the SoUK.LB partners will also be working with other eco-system players and financial intermediaries to raise awareness on the necessity to support this sector and you will be positioned at the forefront of this initiative.

  1. We don’t know if we should apply at the idea stage or the growth stage. Could you please clarify the difference ?

You should apply to the growth stage only if you are registered as a company or association and if you already have a demonstrated social impact and revenue from market-based products & services. In case you’re still uncertain, please apply to the growth stage and we will reclassify you based on the British Embassy’s criteria.

  1. If we aren’t registered yet but we’ve been operating for 2 years, do we qualify for the growth stage ?

No, we only accept registered organisations at the growth stage.

  1. If we are registered as an NGO and generate some minor revenue or have a plan to generate revenue can we qualify for the growth stage ?

You can be registered as an NGO when you apply to SoUK.LB but we will only consider social enterprises who generate revenue from market-based products & services and have plans to scale their business to eventually be financially sustainable and independent from donors. In other words, your organisation should have the potential to someday cover all its costs from market-based products & services without requiring any grants.

In order to qualify for the growth stage, you should already be generating such revenue, otherwise you should apply at the idea stage.

  1. Do we need to demonstrate new social impact and to be generating new revenue during the project timeframe ?

For the growth stage social enterprises, you should be able to demonstrate new social impact and generate new revenue during the project timeframe. If you are selected, you will be working with Alfanar on identifying your key performance indicators and targets for the project.

For the idea stage, you should be able to demonstrate that social impact is a core mission of your startup and has been incorporated strongly into the solution.

  1. Do we need to spend the entire budget during the project timeframe and are there any restrictions on how the money is spent ?

It is preferable for you to spend your allocated budget during the project timeframe. However, we will make a few exceptions on a case-by-case basis depending on your project and as long as it is spent in 2018. If you are selected, you will be working with the SoUK.LB partners (AltCity for idea/early stage and Alfanar for growth stage) on your budget allocation and the corresponding timeframe.

There are no specific restrictions in terms of how the money is spent as long as it is agreed with the SoUK.LB partners and fits within the British Embassy rules.

  1. Do we need to be using technology to be selected ?

The use of technology is a sign of operational efficiency and a key success factor in allowing your social enterprise to scale. You don’t necessarily have to use technology as part of your business model but you should aim to leverage technology as much as possible in supporting your activities and teams.

  1.  Do we need to be based in Beirut to apply to the project ?

No, you don’t need to be based in Beirut. However, the training will be held in Beirut and there is an attendance requirement to qualify for the funding.

  1. Do we need to speak English to apply to the project ?

There is a high probability that the training will be delivered in English but please do apply even if you don’t speak English and, if you’re selected, we will find a way to integrate you into the program.