London charities to benefit from £500,000 social investment funding

Written by Joe Lepper

A £500,000 funding pot has been made available to help charities compete in the social investment market.

The money is being made available to London based charities through the latest round of funding from the Stepping Stones Fund, which was set up two years ago by the City of London Corporation’s Charitable arm, City Bridge Trust, and UBS to promote social investment.

Alison Gowman, chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said: “We understand it takes hard work to develop a new market and the simple provision of capital is rarely enough to encourage the quality and diversity of product to emerge.

“We look forward to receiving applications from organisations looking to step into the social investment market.”

As well as funding, the Fund also offers advice for charities on developing social investment ideas, bringing in technical support and getting products ready for market.

Already through the Stepping Stones Fund more than £2.1m has been handed out to 49 organisations across 20 London boroughs.

Among those to benefit is Bike Project, which received £40,000 last November and employs bike mechanics to help refugees to cycle as a way of becoming more involved in communities.

“The Stepping Stones grant has been instrumental in testing our business model on a larger scale which has transformed our ability to attract investment. This has already been successful and we are currently discussing our options with potential investors,” said Bike Project director Jem Stein.

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