Krzysztof Cibor
31 January 2014

2 million pounds and the know-how: how we can support social economy

Everybody knows how important are money and know-how for social start-ups. North England social enterprises could apply from now for up to 25000 pounds interest-free loan investment with up to 80 hours of tailored one-to-one business support, peer learning, networking and access to business premises. The fund, one of several of this type in England, is called Social Incubator North and is led by Sheffield-based Key Fund in collaboration with the four Northern Social Enterprise Partnerships and Locality. The total amount accesible within the incubator fund is 2 millions of pounds.

All bussines ideas must come with a social backbone, such as offering employment or training to vulnerable members of the community or delivering a service with green credentials.

The current call for aplication is a second round of Social Incubator North – which is co-funded through the Social Incubator Fund (delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of the Office for Civil Society). The first round of the scheme was launched in May 2013. It received 170 enquiries, with 114 applications. Of those, 33 went on to receive a place on the programme.

The scheme, aims to create 60 new investment ready businesses across all sectors.

Key Fund has significant experience of successful investment, consortium management and business development for the social enterprise sector.

Sam Tarff, CEO of Key Fund said: “It’s an incredibly exciting concept as anyone with a competitive and brilliant idea can apply, it doesn’t have to be perfectly formed to start with. Unlike other funds, it’s geared up to deliver that practical, hands-on support to take ideas step-by-step into reality, so these new businesses have solid foundations from which to fly.”
More about the fund >