Barrow Cadbury Trust launches fund to boost social investment market

The Barrow Cadbury Trust is launching a £1.8m Connect Fund for social investment infrastructure in England.

The Connect Fund will provide grants and investments, and opened its first round of grant funding with expressions of interest from Monday. The fund will support intermediaries and infrastructure organisations to make social investment work for a wider, more diverse range of charities and social enterprises.

The Connect Fund seeks to build a better social investment market by improving the connection of social investment to charities and social enterprises, and better connecting social investment intermediaries through shared data and resources.

It also aims to connect existing voluntary sector infrastructure organisations to the social investment market.

The first phase of grants will look at filling the gaps in the infrastructure of the social investment market by supporting collaboration on data management, skill development, sector networks, or other resource solutions.

A second phase of funding will provide feasibility grants for voluntary sector infrastructure organisations to explore models of enterprise-driven solutions with the potential to connect places and sectors to social investment.

Barrow Cadbury Trust chair Helen Cadbury said the foundation's board has deep concerns that much of the social sector is poorly served by the current social investment offer.

“We hope the fund will support new solutions,” she said.

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