NCM is delighted that our client Big Issue Invest has come together with The Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd to launch* The Social Enterprise Support Fund, providing £18.7 million in grants with support from CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka. The fund will invest between £10,000 to £300,000 of essential financial support to help social enterprises during COVID-19. This has been made possible thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
The Social Enterprise Support Fund is a response to the urgent need to help social enterprises change the way they work, make their spaces COVID-secure, and manage liquidity during the next six months. The UK’s 100,000 social enterprises have been at the heart of community survival and recovery during this crisis, from making PPE for health workers, to providing food and connection in their neighbourhoods. The fund is aimed at social enterprises supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.
Research has shown that this crisis is disproportionately hurting communities who already experience social and economic inequalities. Vulnerable people need this support more than ever, but social ventures are struggling to make enough income to meet the need. The fund is committed to inclusion, working to ensure that the grants reach groups that are led by people from BAME communities, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, and leaders with lived experience of the issues that the social enterprises are addressing.
Danyal Sattar, CEO, The Big Issue Invest said, “As a BAME background Chief Executive Officer of The Big Issue Invest, I personally and we as an organisation are very aware of the challenges and disparities that many vulnerable communities and individuals will experience as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
The recent #CharitySoWhite movement has bought to the public view the extent to which BAME organisations and individuals feel excluded by the current funding structures. The focus has been on philanthropy and mainstream charities, but Social Investment is a part of this funding environment too. We encourage social enterprises led by or focused on BAME communities or groups who feel marginalised by us as funders, to apply for this grant support.
These are unprecedented times but the impacts are felt disproportionately by BAME communities and we need to support organisations reaching those hardest hit in our society.”
*Applications have now closed but there will be another opportunity to apply over the next three months. Please sign up to Big Issue Invest’s newsletter to be informed of these dates nearer the time.