Exeter-based The Real Food Store wins place on prestigious learning programme

The Real Food Store in Exeter is one of 100 leaders across England to have been selected for a competitive learning programme and Match Trading grant of up to £10,000.

More than 330 people across England applied for the Community Business Trade up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme supports people improving their local communities through trade.

The programme will support The Real Food Store to grow, which will help expand the awareness of organic, local food and sustainability in Exeter and the surrounding countryside. 

Real Food employees will soon begin a six-month learning programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which supports people starting up and running social enterprises, charities, community business and environmental projects.

Natalie Ohlson, one of the shop’s co-managers, says: “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Community Business Trade up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme and Match Trading grant of up to £10,000 will help The Real Food Store grow, in order to support more local food producers around Exeter in 2018.”

Dirk Rohwedder, director of the School for Social Entrepreneurs Dartington, says: “We are thrilled to welcome The Real Food Store onto the programme, where their team members will learn alongside other community leaders how to create lasting social impact for the region. We are confident the Real Food Store team have the entrepreneurial qualities and motivation to increase their impact on Exeter even further, which is why we have awarded them a highly-coveted place.”

The £10,000 Match Trading grant

The Real Food Store will also be one of the first organisations in the world to receive a Match Trading grant of up to £10,000. Match trading is a new type of funding for socially-led organisations. It matches an increase in sales pound-for-pound, incentivising social entrepreneurs to find ways to earn more money, which they use to help more people or the environment.

Match trading was created by the School for Social Entrepreneurs with the support of pioneer partners Lloyds Banking Group and the Big Lottery Fund, and programme partner Power to Change. Power to Change has provided the funding for this programme.