Potential grants for Redbridge social enterprises – by Ola Kanu, guest blogger

Ola KanuPlease take a look at these new grant opportunities for Redbridge social enterprises, community groups and charities.  Please do let me know if you are successful with any of these bids!

Round 2 of Investment Readiness Fund Launched (England)

The Cabinet Office has announced the launch of round 2 of the Investment Readiness Fund (IRF).

The first IRF round, worth £2 million and launched in October 2014, supported 51 social enterprises. It improved their ability to manage their performance and increase their social impact. The social enterprises were able to unlock more funding through social investment and securing public contracts.

The second round of the IRF, which is managed by the “Social Investment Business”, will make grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 available. The grants will help social ventures to:

  • Build the infrastructure and skills required to manage their performance
  • Increase their social impact
  • Attract social investment or win contracts.

Social ventures will be required to work with one of the fund’s approved support providers to develop a programme of impact readiness work and submit an application. Applicants must be social ventures that tackle social problems, are financially sustainable and want to scale up (this includes registered charities, social enterprises, companies limited by guarantee with charitable aims, Community Interest Companies, mutuals).

The closing date for applications is the 8th January 2016.


Funding to Build Resilient Economies (UK)

The Friends Provident Foundation provides financial support to projects that promote a more resilient, sustainable and fairer economic system.

The Foundation works on two levels:

  • Systems change which aims to support work that can help to transform corporate behaviour, and to stimulate change in the current financial system
  • Building local economic resilience which aims to test and review local or small-scale initiatives that build economic resilience through diversity, flexibility and building capabilities.

Trustees will consider applications for grants, loans, underwriting or other forms of financial support. Previous organisations supported include ECHO, a trading network of over 500 organisations in East London that uses time as the currency, rather than money. This project received a grant of £140,000 and aims to develop and refine the infrastructure for local, sustainable Echo systems at national scale.

The next closing date for applications is the 1st February 2016.


£1 Million Social Investment Fund for Early Intervention Projects (London)

The CAN Early Intervention Fund which provides loans and business support to Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations who deliver innovative, demonstrably effective products and services for the benefit of children and young people, has secured match funding from Funding London to double the amount of funding they can offer. The £1m fund provides loans of between £5,000 and £100,000 as well as business support to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that deliver effective products and services, especially in the areas of child welfare, early years and education, training and unemployment for young people and gangs and anti-social behaviour. It now supports work across 16 London boroughs. Organisations interested in applying should in the first instance submit and Expression of Interest form.

For more information and information on which London boroughs are covered by this fund click on the link below.


Power to Change Trust – Initial Grants Programme (England)

The Power to Change Trust, which is an independent charitable Trust set up in 2015 to support, develop and grow community businesses across England has announced that its Initial Grants Programme will re-open for applications in early 2016.

Community businesses that are in a position to significantly improve their long-term sustainability within six months of receiving a grant will be able apply for capital and revenue funding of between £50,000 and £500,000. The Trust will be looking for applications from exiting organisations which already have business plans in place and are ready to start work quickly on their proposals. Capital grants can be used for refurbishments, renovations, land purchase and building purchase. Revenue funding is available to develop new services which generate income and meet community-identified needs; for professional services and staff costs restricted to the project, for example, to oversee new business development for a limited period.


Big Potential Opens for Applications (England)

The Big Lottery Fund has announced that its new £20 million programme to help Voluntary & Community groups and Social Enterprises (VCSEs) access social investment is open for applications.

Big Potential has two possible application routes – Breakthrough and Advanced:

Breakthrough – Eligible VCSE organisations will be able to access specialist one to one support from the Big Potential programme partners before making an application for grants between £20,000 and £75,000 to undertake more in-depth investment readiness work with one of Big Potential’s approved providers.

Advanced – The Advanced route of Big Potential will be available to VCSEs that are clear about how social investment could work for them and can describe a potential deal or interest from investors and need help to close that deal. The Advanced route is also available to organisations that need help securing a contract. Grants of between £50,000 and £150,000 are available.

Eligible organisations can include registered charities, social enterprises, companies limited by guarantee with charitable aims, Community Interest Companies, mutuals etc.)

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.


If you receive one to one fundraising support or emailed grants please remember to let me know the outcome of your grant applications.  Ola Kanu, TB Awareness Project Coordinator & Community Fundraiser

RedbridgeCVS, 3rd floor Forest House, 16-20 Clements Road, Ilford IG1 1BA  Direct line: 020 8514 9617, email: ola@redbridgecvs.net

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