Post pandemic support fund for social enterprises reopens

The National Lottery Community Fund has reopened its Social Enterprise Support Fund for applications.

A second round of the fund, to support social enterprises to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, reopened this week.

The fund is providing £16.3m of funding through grants of between £10,000 and £100,000.

A focus is to ensure that at least half the grants are handed to groups that are led by Black, Asian and minority ethnic and LGBTQ+ communities, as well as by people with disabilities and those with experience of issues the social enterprise is aiming to address.

The first round of funding took place in 2021 and saw more than 800 social enterprises request grants for £37m. These applications are currently being assessed with successful grantees notified.

One is West Midlands based Make an Impact CIC, which support social enterprises to help communities.

“The funding will help us to support 120 people through providing additional short courses, networking opportunities, and training, as well as expanding into new markets,” said Make an Impact chief executive Heidi Fisher.

The fund is open to social enterprises with an income of between £20,000 and £1.8m in either of the last two financial years.

It is being delivered by Big Issue Invest, Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and UnLtd.

“This has been a great programme to deliver once more with our four partner organisations, thanks to the support of The National Lottery Community Fund,” said Big Issue Invest chief executive Danyal Sattar.

“The demand for grants from social enterprises and enterprising charities has been unsurprisingly strong once again. We have a second round of funding opening, which gives even more excellent organisations an opportunity to apply for funds in order to restart and recover from the negative effects of the pandemic.”

The deadline for applications is 24 March.

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