Our Partners

The Ventures Lab by Challenges Group works in close partnership with a range of organisations, social enterprises and charities in order to best support our ventures.

The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is a key supporter of Challenges Group. In 2021 we introduced the Social Enterprise Internationalisation Infrastructure Programme (SEIIP) with support from Scottish Government funding, which we have now rebranded as The Ventures Lab. We hope to continue to work together to support The Ventures Lab to become fully sustainable.


Firstport is the first port of call for social entrepreneurs. Like many of the businesses they support, they are a charity and social enterprise. For over 16 years, they have been helping budding social entrepreneurs make their ideas happen. From the start, they have offered grant funding and business advice. Over the years, they have grown and developed new services including investment readiness support and social investment products, responding to the needs of the entrepreneurs they support.


CEIS is one of Scotland’s leading social enterprise support agencies having developed a series of training, support and investment programmes that have been widely adopted and replicated. Challenges Group works closely with CEIS as part of the Just Enterprise consortium and we are currently developing a support package for university start-ups and spin-outs.

International Social Enterprise Observatory

ISEO supports the growth of Scottish social enterprises internationally and enables inward expansion into Scotland’s social enterprise sector. We work with ISEO to support social enterprises that want to explore the expansion of their enterprise internationally.  

Just Enterprise

Just Enterprise is the programme designed to help sustain, develop, and grow enterprises and enterprising charities in Scotland. If your aim is to make your enterprise successful internationally, Just Enterprise can provide specialist support to guide you. Whether you’re at the inception stage or already on your entrepreneurial journey, their team is here to equip your enterprise with the expertise it needs to thrive on the global stage.


Scotland’s universities are hotbeds of innovation and talent, but turning great ideas into commercial reality is tough – especially without a road map, funding and a network to guide you along the way. Working in partnership with Scotland’s world-class universities, Converge help staff, students and recent graduates with game-changing business ideas to navigate the journey ahead.

Social Investment Scotland

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is one of Scotland’s leading social investors offering loan funding and business support for other social enterprises, charities and community groups looking to make a positive impact on people’s lives, society or the environment.