Key Fund Kick off ‘Social Saturday’ with FC United

Cause UK is providing PR and media support to The Key Fund and Social Enterprise UK to champion 'Social Saturday.' 'Social Saturday' is a nationwide day of events and activities…

Cause UK is providing PR and media support to The Key Fund and Social Enterprise UK to champion ‘Social Saturday.’

‘Social Saturday’ is a nationwide day of events and activities on 10 October to celebrate social enterprise.

The Key Fund is the North’s largest investor in community and social enterprises and has teamed up with FC United of Manchester to kick off ‘Social Saturday’.

There are around 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing two million people and contributing £20 billion to the economy. Social Saturday is part of Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social Campaign which urges consumers, and the public and private sectors, to use their purchasing power to create a positive social and environmental impact.

Key Fund – the UK’s most prolific social investor – makes awards to enterprises that deliver a positive social or environmental impact across the North. Key Fund supported FC United of Manchester to become a unique, community football club owned and democratically run by its members.

Sam Tarff, CEO of Key Fund, said: “We are really excited to play such a large part in such a great national celebration, especially here in Manchester where we have had some truly amazing clients such as FC United. We funded FC United through a community shares pilot, enabling them to launch their own community shares programme which has raised over £2 million.”

“Key Fund is all about supporting local enterprises to grow and perpetuate their social mission for the benefit of their communities. We recognise that Social Enterprises play a huge part within the current growth of SME’s in the UK, with a third of all SME growth coming from Social Enterprises.”

Sam added: “As the most prolific Social Investor in the UK, we are fully committed to supporting the combined growth of the social economy, tackling some of the most complex social problems and needs.”

Founded in 2005 FC United Manchester is a Community Benefit Society, with membership open to anyone and everyone – all with an equal co-owner status in the club.

Adam Brown, board member of FC United Manchester, said: “We wanted to change how the game is owned and run, putting fans at the heart of the club and to create lasting benefits to the local community. Football brings communities together like no other sport, and yet the way the industry is headed and run is pricing out ordinary fans. We have shown it can be done differently. We’re thrilled to partner with the Key Fund to help raise awareness to the public that business can be done differently, positively.”

To date, Key Fund has invested almost £40m to hundreds of businesses which stimulate local economies by providing goods and services, jobs, training and work experience.

Key Fund is unique in that all its investments go to those turned down by mainstream banks, targeting early stage, high-risk organisations with little track record. All investees however must offer a positive social or environmental impact, whether it’s working with vulnerable people, troubled families, social reform, rehabilitation, community co-operatives or creating green energy or recycling schemes.

The Key Fund backed match, FC United v Worcester City, took place at Broadhurst Park, a ground built by fans, in Moston on Friday 2nd October at 7.30pm.

In the build up to Social Saturday, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Damian Hinds MP will visit the ground at 3pm on 7th October and officially launch Social Saturday on the 10th October at Central Working in Deansgate, Manchester.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of how easy it is to support businesses that trade quality items and services and invest profits in projects supporting the local community, the environment or charities.

Picture Shows: Matt Smith, Deputy CEO The Key Fund, Sam Tarff, CEO of The Key Fund and Adam Brown General Manager of FC United.