Social entrepreneurs secure share of £182,639 funding

Eve Hepburn by Alice Boreas Photography
Eve Hepburn by Alice Boreas Photography

Fearlessly, a mental health social enterprise has received £25,000 in grant funding from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund. The awards were delivered by Firstport, Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise.

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Eve Hepburn, the founder of Fearlessly, was one of 18 social entrepreneurs to secure a share of £182,639 funding in the latest round of Firstport’s Start It and Built It awards. Eve received a Build It award, which supports social entrepreneurs, who have proven their business concept and social impact, to commit to their business full time by covering living costs for a year.

Fearlessly, which works on a national scale, tackles the paramount and systematic problem of mental ill-health amongst young people. Having started trading in February 2018, the Fearlessly magazine is written by and for those affected by mental illness and has already been successful in obtaining over 20,000 readers in 129 countries with numbers growing every day. With a dedicated social media following, Fearlessly has  created an online creative community, in which young people can talk openly about their mental health challenges

Since Eve launched the social enterprise, it has become a leading voice in Scotland’s discourse around mental health and feminism, and used this influence to de-stigmatise mental health in society through young adult-focussed public campaigns.

Fearlessly is looking to develop considerably in 2019, with plans to launch a range of mental health services targeted at universities. Having obtained the Build It funding Fearlessly is now looking to take the business to the next step through hiring a Business Development Manager and Sales Assistant, to scale-up the business and reach more universities across the UK,

Eve Hepburn said: The Build It Award has been crucial to taking our next step and developing as a business. The award will allow us to roll out a series of commercial products that are focussed on improving the mental health of young adults in higher education and the workplace.

We are also massively excited to have re-branded (launched on the 14th January) as part of our mission to support as many young adults as we can. As such, we’ve changed our name to ‘Fearlessly’ and our aim is to reach out to feminists of all genders in our quest to rid society of mental health stigma and to address the structural inequalities – including gender discrimination – that are often core to mental ill-health. We launched the first ‘Fearlessly’ edition of our digital magazine, which people can access through a pay-what-you-can-afford subscription to our ‘Rebel Base’ from as little as £1 per month.

Eve was one of 18 individuals from across Scotland to share a total of £182,639 grant funding as part of this latest round of Start It and Build It awards, delivered by Firstport.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “We are delighted to be supporting 18 more social entrepreneurs in this latest round of seed funding. Fearlessly is a great example of a creative and multi-dimensional social enterprise, that not only offers support to those with mental ill-health but also challenges the dominant stigma that exists in society today. As the enterprise grows it will open doors for new ways of talking about mental illness, and ensure the voices of those most affected are leading this change.”

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