Guest blogger Ola Kanu of RCVS on funding for social enterprises in Redbridge

Ola KanuFour potenial funding opportunities for Redbridge social enterprises…

Big Society Capital (UK)

A new financial institution set up by the UK government to finance charities and community groups has been launched. Big Society Capital will have £600million, of which the majority comes from unused cash in bank accounts that had been dormant for more than 15 years.

The fund will back social enterprises that prove they can repay an investment through the income they generate. It will seek to connect social organisations to financial markets and to revolutionise the funding alternatives available to them. Most importantly it will provide new investment capital specifically focused on improving lives and supporting communities around the country. The fund has already agreed investments worth £3.6m in a number of schemes including; Think Forward Social Impact, which helps young people into work and education; Franchising Works, which trains the unemployed how to run a franchise business; and the Community Generation Fund, which supports the development of renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar panels and biomass boilers, for local communities.

Applications can be made at any time.

Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme Opens for Application (UK)

Lloyds Banking Group is inviting applications to its Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme is a package of support to social enterprises that includes three different elements; a 14 day practical course, a business mentor from Lloyds
Banking Group and a grant. The programme is aimed at both start up social enterprises and existing social enterprises that want to scale up. The content of the course and the size of the grant award will vary depending on whether the participant joins Start Up or Scale Up. For example, a grant of £4,000 is available to start up a social enterprise or £15,000 to scale up an existing social enterprise.

The deadline for applications to the programme is 1pm on the 23rd March 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.

Support is available through the Foundation for projects that aim to transform current financial systems in an ‘engine’ for social benefits. 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 3rd May 2016.

Deloitte Society Partnership Support Programme (UK)

Registered charities and social enterprises based in the UK can apply to become a Deloitte Society Partner to help them achieve their social goals through the ‘Focused on One Million Futures’ project.

Social partners will receive a programme of support including access to professional expertise and volunteers, fundraising help and the chance to have tailored pro-bono assistance. Selected social partners will also have the opportunity to meet with, connect and learn from each other as the programme progresses. To qualify an organisation must be delivering impact related to employability, either through raising aspirations, improving skills or developing leaders.

The partnership programme runs for three years from 1st June 2016. The deadline for applications is 14th February 2016.

Ola Kanu, TB Awareness Project Coordinator & Community FunRedbridge CVS join usdraiser, RedbridgeCVS


Direct line: 020 8514 9617 email:


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