Cause UK is thrilled our client, Key Fund – Yorkshire’s leading Community Development Finance Institution – has been shortlisted for a major national award.
The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, in partnership with the Community Development Finance Association, celebrate excellence in community finance.
Based in Sheffield, Key Fund is a leading provider of short term unsecured loans to business ventures generating positive social value throughout the North of England.
Itself a Social Enterprise, its success is recognising the nature and environment within which social businesses operate. To date, it has invested over £29m and supported over 2,000 organisations across the North.
This is the first time the global Awards are launched in the UK to celebrate the innovative and important work of community finance. Key Fund is shortlisted for the Impact Award, which celebrates the CDFI that is having the greatest impact, bringing positive change to people’s lives, communities and enterprises.
Sam Tarff, CEO of Key Fund, said: “We are delighted to be finalists for this prestigious Award. By providing tailored investments and support, our mission is to break down the barriers to accessing finance. There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in the social enterprise sector. It’s moved from being a peripheral issue to one of critical importance, both politically and economically.”
Key Fund delivers its goals by making loans and investments from European Funds, public sector monies, private sector stakeholders and from its own legacy fund It provides expertise, flexible finance and a personal relationship banking touch to advise individuals and businesses pre and post investment.
One of its clients, Skipton charity shop Birdcage, is also shortlisted in the Awards. Located on Skipton High Street, the retail enterprise is the trading arm for Leeds charity for domestic abuse, Behind Closed Doors.
The shop launched after a start-up loan package of £25k in 2010 from the Key Fund, and has been credited for turning the previously quiet part of the High Street into a ‘must-go destination’, attracting other retailers.
Mr Tarff said: “We work in that space where there is a cost of doing nothing – a cost to the Treasury and perhaps more importantly, to the community. We’re committed to helping businesses and enterprises succeed, sector or trade, as long as they have a social mission at their heart.”
Ben Hughes, Chief Executive of the CDFA, said: “Locally based community finance providers – CDFIs – are providing their customers with invaluable access to finance and to support – and we are thrilled to be able to recognize and reward some of this support through the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards.”
Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Microfinance and Community Development, added: “The awards are an exciting opportunity to showcase the individuals and organisations that are changing lives, boosting economies and energising neighbourhoods. Their achievements will be celebrated at the final of the first UK Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards.”
Total prize money of £65,000 will be presented to the winners at the awards ceremony on 12th February in Bristol.