Social entrepreneurs invited to apply for £5m fund
Key Fund, one of the UK’s leading social investors, has £5m of finance available for communities across the North and Midlands.
The ‘alternative bank’ is inviting people who want to scale up or set up a social enterprise to access the blended grant and loan finance offer as it marks 20 years of investing in 2020.
To date, the anti-poverty organisation has invested £54m in social enterprises – businesses that put people and the planet at the heart of their enterprise.
Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “Social enterprises are simply businesses with a social or environmental mission at their heart.
"With 20 years’ experience, we know what works, how to support social entrepreneurs, and how to sustain businesses. Over the years, this movement has grown and is now at the forefront of tackling society’s biggest challenges, from homelessness, addiction, loneliness, poverty and inequality to the environment, with community-led green energy schemes, projects tackling food waste, and recycling enterprises.”
Over two decades, Key Fund has given business support and finance to over 2,500 organisations, enabling 1,354 and safeguarding 2,171 jobs, and creating 520 new businesses across the North and the Midlands.
All the businesses Key Fund supports have been turned down by mainstream banks or lenders. Of the investments, 80% are in businesses that operate in the top 30% most deprived areas on the indices of multiple deprivation.
Matt said: “Against a backdrop of austerity and rising inequality, local people are taking control of the issues that matter to them with real passion. Social entrepreneurs are remarkable individuals working at the coalface of their communities, offering very real solutions to endemic problems. They transform lives.”