Key Fund, the north’s leading social investor, is one of five support agencies delivering £16.3m of grants to support social enterprises impacted by Covid-19.
The Social Enterprise Support Fund is now open for a second round of funding. The fund will provide grants of between £10,000 and £100,000.
Sheffield-based Key Fund supports social enterprises across Yorkshire, as well as the North and Midlands.
The Social Enterprise Support Fund will continue its focus on social enterprises supporting their communities to recover from the pandemic.
This follows the first round of applications received in December, which saw over 800 applications from enterprises across England, requesting grants to the value of over £37m.
The fund is available to social enterprises if most of their beneficiaries are in England, and their annual income has been between £20,000 and £1.8m in either of the last two financial years.
Key Fund joins Big Issue Invest, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and UnLtd to jointly deliver the grants, aiming to help 500 enterprises.
The COVID-19 crisis continues to disproportionately hurt communities who already experience social and economic inequalities. The fund will support social entrepreneurs who help these communities, including leaders with lived experience, and ensure they can put their solutions into practice to help people most impacted by the crisis. The UK’s 100,000 social enterprises will be at the heart of community recovery from this crisis. Social enterprises create economic growth while helping people in need or improving the environment.
The economic and social impact of COVID-19 has laid bare structural inequalities in our society. People from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, disabled people, people with lower educational outcomes, those on lower incomes, and the young have been hit the hardest by the crisis. Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have also been more affected by business shutdowns and suffered a drop in earnings nearly three times larger than their white counterparts.
The fund is committed to inclusion, working to ensure that the at least 50% of grants reach groups that are led by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; LGBTQ+ communities; disabled people; and/or leaders with lived experience of the issues their social enterprise is addressing.
Welcoming the reopening of the fund Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “The UK’s social enterprises have been at the heart of community survival and recovery during the pandemic. In a post-Covid world, where the inequalities within society are even starker, the work of these organisations will be needed more than ever. This grant funding has already proven to be a lifeline to many social enterprises and the communities they work in, and so we welcome this second round of financial support.”
For more information and to apply social enterprise should visit http://socialenterprisesupportfund.org.uk/
YORKSHIRE CASE STUDY
Omnis Circumvado is a social enterprise based in Huddersfield which operates across West Yorkshire.
Key Fund gave a £28k grant from the first round of the Social Enterprise Support Fund.
It was co-founded by Louis Speight, 31, who is a former Paralympian, born with cerebral palsy.
Omnis Circumvado, Latin for ‘all encompassing’, was founded by Richard Szostak and Louis Speight in 2018.
Specialist sports coaches, they work with children, young people, and adults with the most complex needs in school and community settings.
The pair work within care homes, day centres, schools and with specific community disability groups. All these programmes are free to access.
Louis, 31, wasn’t going to let a global pandemic stop him.
Louis is an impassioned coach and social entrepreneur, with lived experience.
As a teenager, he struggled with eating disorder and school bullies. Born with cerebral palsy, he worked hard to earn a scholarship to study sports science, specialising in clinical rehab. He went on to become a European record-breaking Paralympian, ranked at one point, no.1.
Through Covid, unlike many organisations in their field, they continued a lot of in-person delivery.
“We didn’t go down the Zoom route. A lot of our participants and people we want to reach are already suffering through isolation pre-pandemic.”
Louis felt it was detrimental to those young people to give them another reason to sit on the sofa with an iPad, when faced with the accumulative problems of poverty, sedentary lifestyles and isolation.
“The point of us is to work with the most disadvantaged, either by circumstance or need. The people we work with really would miss out otherwise.”
Louis said: “In one of the day centres, the elderly BAME adults with complex needs have a good meal, they’re warm and looked after, they get personal care and then we go in and give them a little physical activity and have a great time. That’s how you do it. Not expecting someone who is potentially cold and hungry sat at home expecting them to log onto a Zoom session to dance about. Some do it successfully, but it’s not the correct approach for us, particularly given what many of our users have been through.”
During Covid, Louis was constantly watching the news for the latest revised restrictions, and adapting what they could offer, from working in bubbles in schools to equipment drops with session plans.
“I’m proud we managed to find ways to keep it working, and actually we’ve brought back every single programme pre-pandemic and added to it as well.”
Financially, they were hit during Covid, particularly with their work in community settings.
“Although the commercial income took a significant hit, we were able to offset that by government schemes and grant funds, and equally re-invest part of that grant money into the community. We spent £700 feeding children in south Leeds over the summer, and helped secure funding for a local foodbank to move into a self-contained unit to be more Covid secure, because nutrition and sport go hand-in-hand, they’re one of our community partners.”
Louis said: “When this fund came up it just felt ideal. Now we can offer fixed-term part-time contracts on a set rate.”
Currently they are able to reach at least 517 beneficiaries with complex needs a week. Once the new staff are properly embedded, they hope to double that reach.
The staffing will help future-proof the enterprise, as well as help it grow.
Key Fund supported Omnis from the start, and also through the first lockdown.
Louis said: “With Key Fund, you just feel you can trust them and that’s massive. Listen, if it weren’t for them none of this would be possible.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the Social Enterprise Support Fund
- Social Enterprise Support Fund is a two-year project, delivered by Big Issue Invest (BII), Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd, in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Community Fund has committed £18m to the partnership, which will offer vital and rapid financial support to more than 500 social enterprises focused on supporting their communities to recover from the pandemic. This funding will help these enterprises to provide and improve services to some of the most marginalised groups and ensure these are sustainable at a time of economic uncertainty.
- The fund will be made available through a shared portal at http://socialenterprisesupportfund.org.uk/.
- The fund is only available to social enterprises if most of their beneficiaries are in England, with an annual income between £20,000 and £1.8m in either of the last two financial years.
- The fund is aimed at social enterprises whose business model is sound and is substantially reliant on income from trading to deliver social impact.
- The Social Enterprise Support Fund is focused on social enterprises supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.
- We will support social enterprises in evolving and growing sustainable community services, in the face of ongoing disruption from COVID-19.
- The fund previously launched in 2020 and delivered £18.7m of grants to over 600 social across the length and breadth of England.
The fund has committed to ensuring:
- All eligible social enterprises have an opportunity to bid for funding.
- Applications will be considered fairly and equally against agreed criteria and priorities.
- We will also offer opportunities for one-to-one support with social enterprise advisors, and sign posting to additional support services as part of their grant.
- Decisions will be made quickly, and funds released as soon as possible.
- Equity, diversity and inclusion is a top priority, and the fund is committed to support flowing in an equitable way to organisations led by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; disabled people; and/or LGBTQ+ people; and with an even gender balance.
- Each decision-making panel (made up of three people) will have at least two people who are Black, Asian and minority ethnic, disabled, and/or LGBTQ+.
- We are involving social entrepreneurs with lived experience and from marginalised communities in our outreach and grant decision-making.
- We are working with development partners: organisations across England who can help social enterprises make an application and / or understand their eligibility for the fund. Social enterprises that have been historically underfunded will specifically be encouraged to apply.
- We will also offer additional support, alongside financial support to grantees.
- The fund is committed to inclusion, working to ensure that the grants reach groups that are led by:
- People from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities;
- People from LGBTQ+ communities;
- Disabled people;
- Leaders with lived experience of the issues that the social enterprise is addressing
- The Social Enterprise Support Fund will reopen for applications at 1pm on February 28th for applications and close 1pm on March 24th
- For more information contact: email@example.com or contact Paul Handford 07718 975684
About the social enterprise support agencies
UnLtd finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs in the UK – enterprising people with solutions to change our society for the better. From starting ups to scaling up, UnLtd’s unique package of support and funding helps social entrepreneurs to realise their untapped potential and build a better society for all.
So that social entrepreneurs can achieve this potential, UnLtd also works to break down the barriers they face, such as finding customers, making a living, and getting access to finance. We set out to change the system so it works better for those who set out to change society.
Big Issue Invest
Founded in 2005, Big Issue Invest extends The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of sustainable social enterprises and social purpose businesses across the UK.
Big Issue Invest (BII) offers social enterprises and social purpose businesses loans and investment from £20,000 to £3.5 million. It manages or advises on £450 million of social funds, including £45 million assets under direct management.
In 2020-2021, BII invested in over 184 organisations across the UK, with 62% of investment in the highest areas of deprivation. Alongside working in areas where it is needed, Big Issue Invest’s clients provide services to over 1.16 million people across the UK and provide jobs for up to 10,000 people and volunteering opportunities for 6,900 people.
Our mission is to provide ‘the right kind of money at the right time for the development and growth of sustainable and impactful community and social enterprises that are unable to secure support from elsewhere’. We do this by investing relatively modest amounts, mainly under £50,000 – both loans and blended grant/loan packages – to enable organisations to start-up, or grow, with the aim of helping them to become sustainable in financial and impact terms via trading.
Since 1999, we have invested over £60m in more than 2,500 organisations across the North and Midlands, across a wide variety of business sectors, from counselling services, to renewable energy projects. Our investees have one crucial thing in common – the ambition to build and strengthen local communities and create a positive impact. Linked to this, we actively target organisations working in disadvantaged places, with 80% of our investments in the top 30% most deprived communities on the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.
It’s not just about the money, it’s also about working alongside applicants, before and after investment, providing the right kind of support to help our investees have the best possible chance of success.
Resonance are one of the UK’s leading social impact investment companies, established in 2002, with a mission to connect capital with social enterprise. Resonance has nearly £300m of funds under management across twelve operational social impact investment funds. These funds tackle some of the major societal issues in the UK such as homelessness, poverty and health & wellbeing.
Resonance also works in an advisory capacity with ambitious social enterprises, helping them with professional advice on governance, impact and process.
Resonance are a B Corp, and have offices across the UK, including London, Cornwall and Manchester with a team of over 50 supporting social enterprises and the communities they serve.
School for Social Entrepreneurs
We can’t fix issues like poverty, climate change and ill-health alone. That’s why the School for Social Entrepreneurs exists. We help 1,000 people a year develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems.
We run courses that equip people to start, scale and strengthen organisations that make a positive difference. But we’re not a traditional school. Learning with SSE is inspiring, action-based and accessible. We support people in other ways too, such as funding and mentoring.
Lord Michael Young founded SSE in 1997, and we’ve grown to a network of schools across the UK, Canada and India. Together, we’re changing lives and transforming communities.
About The National Lottery Community Fund
We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we support people and communities to prosper and thrive.
We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.
Our funding has a positive impact and makes a difference to people’s lives. We support projects focussed on things that matter, including economic prosperity, employment, young people, mental health, loneliness and helping the UK reach NET Zero by 2050.
Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes. National Lottery funding has been used to support over 635,000 projects – 255 projects per postcode area.