Social Enterprise Support Fund reopens for applications after delivering £5.6 million of urgent grant funding to social enterprises.
The fund is now open. Deadline for applications is 1pm on 20th August
The second round of The Social Enterprise Support Fund, delivering nearly £19 million of National Lottery funding, to help social enterprises during COVID-19, reopens for applications today.
In the first round the fund received over 500 applications, and by 6th August had agreed to support over 180 social enterprises across the length and breadth of England.
The Social Enterprise Support Fund was established in partnership by The National Lottery Community Fund and five social enterprise support agencies (Big Issue Invest, The Key Fund, Community Land & Finance CIC (also known as Resonance), the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd) with support from CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka.
Thanks to National Lottery players, £18.7 million of National Lottery funding has been committed to the fund to be used to provide grants to social enterprise organisations that are best placed to support local, vulnerable communities in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Social Enterprise Support Fund responds to an urgent need in the sector to help social enterprises change the way they work, make their spaces COVID-secure, and manage liquidity during the next six months.
The fund is aimed at social enterprises supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.
Vulnerable people need this support more than ever, but social ventures are struggling to make enough income to meet this need. Research shows that this crisis is disproportionately hurting communities who already experience social and economic inequalities.
The fund has made a commitment to ensure that the grants reach businesses that are led by people most impact by Coronavirus.
The partnership has a shared goal of 30% of grants going to people who use their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change, and after the first round they have exceeded that goal.
One of the enterprises that secured funding from the first round is Running Deer CIC.
Running Deer CIC was established in 2011 out of an identified need to provide opportunities for children, young people and adults, including those at risk of exclusion, and local people and communities living in rural isolation without easy access to education, employment or training. They provide access to learning outside the classroom, training, volunteering, life skills opportunities and work.
Celebrating the success of the fund Danyal Sattar, CEO, The Big Issue Invest said:
“We are grateful for The National Lottery Communities Fund as a great direct grant maker. They chose to take a substantial amount of their money and work with us at Big Issue Invest and the other partners, to find every way possible to reach communities and organisations that might not get access. It’s generous leadership from a great institution and we could never have run a programme like this without them. When enterprising charities and social enterprises needed them, NLCF were there and stood with us.
We are delighted with how the first round of applications for the SESF fund has gone. 70% of our approved funding has gone to diversity-led businesses. We are incredibly proud of this, as we recognise the fund needs to ensure it support all leaders to respond to Covid-19 in their communities. We are spreading the funding across England, with 30% across the north, 32% in the midlands and 36% in London and the south east. We will continue to run an outreach programme for the second phase across England and would call on interested parties to get in touch and apply to the fund.”
Visit socialenterprisesupportfund.org.uk to apply today.