New £6m Fund Offers Loan/Grant Package to Smaller Charities and Social Enterprises (England)

Unrestricted funding package for small and medium sized charities and social enterprise that are working to improve people’s lives or the environment in which they live and who are looking to grow or diversify their business models.

The new £6 million Thrive Together Fund provides a funding package of loan (75%) and grant (25%) to eligible voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, who are based in and delivering social impact in England.

The fund is managed by Social Investment Business, and delivered in partnership with The Architectural Heritage Fund, Co-operative and Community Finance, Fredericks Foundation, Groundwork and Homeless Link.

The funding is intended to expand the reach of social investment to smaller organisations or those based in disadvantaged areas, targeting funding where it can be most effective at promoting equitable outcomes, and ensuring that any interventions enhance the social and economic capacity of a community.

The fund offers a blend of loan (75%) and grant (25%).

  • Amount available – between £25,000 and £150,000 (inclusive of 25% grant).
  • Repayment term – between 1 and 6 years (inclusive of any capital repayment holidays).
  • Interest rate of 7.5% fixed per annum on the loan balance.
  • Arrangement fee – 2% on loan value (added to loan balance.
  • Repayment – capital repayment holiday of up to 12 months at the start of the loan (optional)
  • No early pre-payment fees.
  • Unsecured.

The funding can be used for most purposes including, but not limited to:

  • Purchasing an asset.
  • Redeveloping/ refurbishing/ improving an asset.
  • Continuing or growing a product or service.
  • Working capital for ongoing operating expenses, acquisition.

The 75% loan element can be used to refinance existing debt over a more patient period. The 25% grant element cannot be used for refinancing.

Incorporated voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations can apply.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be registered in England as either a Charity, Community Interest Company or Community Benefit Society.
  • Have a viable borrowing request (that can reasonably be expected to meet its repayment obligations).
  • Have a minimum of two years’ operating activity.
  • Have a minimum turnover of £100,000 in their last financial year.

Commenting on the new fund, Neil Berry, Director of Programmes at Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, said:

“Blended finance is particularly effective at supporting small and medium sized charities and social enterprises to increase their impact, build their resilience and reach more people, particularly in underserved communities.”

Applications are currently being accepted. There are no deadlines.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)