Social investment fund announces £2m blended grant funding for black-led charities

Blended grant funding worth £2m to support black and minoritised led charities and social enterprises has been announced as part of social investment initiative the Recovery Loan Fund.

Charities have until next month to apply for the £25m Fund, which was set up last year by Social Investment Business to make post-Covid recovery loans more accessible to the charitable and not for profit sectors.

The deadline for bids for funding is 20 May.

The dedicated £2m in blended grant funding for black and minority led charities is being delivered through the Fund in partnership with the Ubele Initiative and Create Equity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has raised new challenges for social businesses run by Black and racially minoritised founders,” said Ubele Initiative chief executive and founder Yvonne Field.

“These enterprises have been historically under-invested in and therefore less able to deal with external shocks.

“This is why, The Ubele Initiative is excited to be part of delivering the Flexible Finance programme with SIB and Create Equity. The programme will open up crucial Social Investment as both grants and loans to social businesses who hadn’t considered it before.

“We feel this investment and the package of support available will be truly transformative, taking some amazing social businesses to the next level.”

Create Equity founder and chief executive Kevin Osborne added: “SIB has correctly identified the problem of racially inequitable funding in previous rounds of the Recovery Loan Fund and has come up with a solution that has every chance of driving more, and much needed, finance to Black and Brown-led organisations."

The Recovery Loan Fund can be used to access investment to help charities grow, assist in finding new revenue streams and to manage cash flow issues.

Buying new technology and refinancing debts are other uses for the Fund.

Among founding investors is Fusion21 Foundation which has committed £2m to provide financial support for charities and social enterprises impacted by the pandemic.

“Fusion21 is a social business that has made significant contributions towards COVID-19 recovery in communities,” said Fusion21 Foundation chair Chris Murray.

“Our involvement as founding investor in the RLF builds on this, enabling us to make positive changes on a local scale, while also contributing to making a significant national impact across the VCSE sector.”

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