Social enterprise tackling female incontinence stigma through comedy secures funding

March 12, 2019

Social enterprise tackling female incontinence stigma through comedy secures funding.

Sweet F Aye, a new social enterprise tackling the stigma surrounding female incontinence, has secured £5,000 in Firstport’s most recent Start It award. The grant was awarded from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Susan Morrison, along with the two co-founders of Sweet F Aye, was one of nine social entrepreneurs to receive a share of £41,208 funding in the latest round of Firstport’s Start It award. Start It awards are focused on piloting new social enterprise ideas that are yet to get off the ground. Budding entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5000 to cover essential start-up costs.

Sweet F Aye was founded by three good friends wanting to combine their talents to do something incredible and improve the lives of women in Scotland. This trio of comedians (one of whom is a trained pelvic physiotherapist) aim to provide targeted assistance to those dealing with women’s incontinence through comedy shows and practical workshops, working to dispel the stigma and silence surrounding women’s health issues.

With profits generated through corporate work, including menopause workshops for managers and staff, Sweet F Aye aspires to provide low-cost/free interventions and physiotherapy sessions as well as training women to become local health ambassadors. Thanks to funding and support from Firstport, Sweet F Aye are about to move into their own office and have started planning their first two years of business.

Susan Morrison, co-founder of Sweet F Aye says:

Sweet F Aye is an exciting project for me. It addresses serious, unacknowledged women’s health issues, and uses all the skills I have developed as a comedy performer and project manager. Our approach is trail-blazing. In five years, we expect to be at the forefront of training new women’s health communicators, engaging hard-to-reach communities, and to have helped lower some negative indicators blighting women’s lives.

We are three women who want to make life better for other women. And we aim to do that by bringing Scotland’s women laughter, education and dry gussets. World domination? We leave to those with lesser imaginations.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said:

It’s an exciting time for social entrepreneurship in Scotland and we are seeing a wide range of social enterprise ideas coming through Firstport’s doors. It’s great to be able to support enterprises such as Sweet F Aye. By bringing women together through comedy, as well as running practical and educational workshops, Sweet F Aye are re-modelling health awareness amongst the female population, and beyond.

ENDS

For further information, including details on other award winners, please get in touch.

Details of the Start It award winners, by area:

Dumfries and Galloway:

Kirsten Scott received £5,000 for her social enterprise The Guild (Dumfries) C.I.C

Glasgow:

Patricie Kanyandekwe received £5,000 for her social enterprise Inyange Children and Community Project (ICCP)

West Dumbartonshire:

Darren Osbourne received £4,000 for his social enterprise Braw Talent

Western Isles:

Gill Houlsby received £5,000 for her social enterprise Skye Marine Plastics

Argyll and Bute:

Nicola Watt received £5,000 for her social enterprise Wee Scottish Lassie
Darren Townsend received £2,208 for her social enterprise Green Futures Arran CIC

West Lothian:

Lindsey McNeill received £5,000 for her social enterprise Borders Wellness Retreat

Falkirk:

Gerry Ogilvie received £5,000 for his social enterprise What’ll We do Today

What is social enterprise?

Social enterprise is about running a business, making a profit, and using that money to create a positive social impact. It is a way of doing business which focuses on tackling social problems, strengthening communities, improving people’s life chances or protecting the environment, as opposed to generating profit for private individuals or bodies. Any surplus income, after covering running costs and salaries, is reinvested in the business and goes towards its social aims.

Firstport

Established in 2007, Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise. We offer a full package of free business support and resources that includes start-up funds, business advice, practical tools and connections. Firstport delivers an awards programme, which distributes money from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Social Entrepreneurs Fund

Since 2009, the Social Entrepreneurs Fund has made 630 awards and distributed £4.9 million across Scotland.

Start It awards are focused on piloting entirely new ideas that are yet to get off the ground. Budding entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5000 to cover essential start-up costs.