A recent survey of social enterprises in the UK has shown that they’re leading the way in creating opportunities for our communities. The results revealed that 69% of those surveyed are supporting people from disadvantaged groups and 44% are employing them.
To continue this socially driven work, these pioneers need our help! A remarkable new initiative supporting sustainable growth for social enterprises and mission led organisations is coming to their aid.
The Devon Social Investment Fund is the brain child of Devon Community Foundation, and will offer a finance and support package to encourage new growth for social ventures. The Foundation has teamed up with a number of partners to introduce two new opportunities for social purpose organisations.
Support from Access and their funding partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital, enables the fund to provide loans, available between £30,000 -£150,000, bespoke to each individual organisation’s needs. The loans are flexible and can cover a number of areas from buying or improving premises, to hiring new talent or developing new products or services.
Alongside, Enhance South West funded by European Regional Development Fund is enabling one to one support from an experienced business advisor for development, advice and guidance.
Martha Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Devon Community Foundation said, “For over two decades we’ve been gathering in-depth knowledge of the challenges and aspirations of our communities. There are an increasing number of organisations with a social impact in Devon seeking support and funding to survive and grow.
We feel it’s time to expand the range of ways in which we can help. So we’ve designed a support ‘ecosystem’ in response to that need, comprising of a mix of investment loans sitting alongside a European Union funded business support programme.”
Access to finance has time and time again been highlighted as the most significant barrier to Social Enterprises’ sustainability which is the gap that the Devon Social Investment Fund hopes to bridge. Devon based social organisations hoping to grow their businesses are being encouraged to get in touch with the Social Enterprise Support Team and take advantage of the free support and tailored loans on offer.
Visit www.devoncf.com to find out more information and how to apply.