SCOTLAND’S newest hub for social entrepreneurs, start-ups, charities and SMEs is launching tomorrow.

The Montgomery Street Lane venture, based in Edinburgh, is a collaboration between four of the country’s leading support agencies, Firstport, Challenges Group, Project Scotland and Volunteering Matters.

The founders said the Montgomery Street Lane initiative will provide a “one-stop shop” for ambitious social businesses and charities while also acting as a focal point for impact investors targeting enterprises that are addressing social challenges.

Josiah Lockhart, Firstport’s chief executive, said: “The vision for Montgomery Street Lane is a bold one.

“We’re building an enterprise support network for social entrepreneurs and impact investors, for start-ups and SMEs looking to grow, expand and export. We’re focused on making it a place of optimism, opportunity and outcomes.”

Lockhart added: “We’re offering these individuals a place where key support services are in one location, and where each of the Lane residents can collaborate on offering a joined-up and partnership approach to business development and growth.”

The four organisations behind the new Montgomery Street Lane venture have between them 90 years’ experience across a range of fields including business consultancy, management training, exports, seed funding, impact investment,

business support services, volunteering, international development, marketing and communications, and project management. Between them, they have about 40 staff as well as volunteers working out from the refurbished 19th-century mews houses just off Elm Row.

Alexandra Baker, director of challenges, said: “Montgomery Street Lane is where an entrepreneur can come and have their business idea scrutinised, supported, and turned into a viable strategic plan that can then grow into a sustainable business.”

Baker cited the example of Clean Water Wave, a social enterprise that has developed a revolutionary water filter system that can remove micro- and nano-plastics as well as other toxins and pollutants from the water supply.