For over ten years, we’ve been helping tell the stories of Key Fund clients. One of Cause UK’s first clients, we never fail to be inspired by the social entrepreneurs Key Fund support, as well as their dedicated team, who have such strong values.
The stories over the last year were particularly powerful in response to COVID-19. Social enterprises are often at the very heart of their communities. As such, many became frontline responders helping the most vulnerable.
We were proud to use our copywriting skills to capture these stories for the annual Social Impact report. You can view it on this microsite.
The below Press Release unveils the astounding £447m impact the organisation has had in its 21 years’ investing.
Key Fund Unveils £447M Impact
Key Fund, a pioneering social investor, has achieved an economic impact of £447m over two decades across the North of England and the Midlands.
The figure has been unveiled to mark the Sheffield-based organisation’s 21-years of investing in community and social enterprises.
In that time, Key Fund has safeguarded 2,291 jobs and created 1,442 new jobs, alongside creating 533 businesses, helping to sustain 2,229 businesses.
Community and social enterprises generate profit as any business, but reinvest their profits to achieve social impact.
Sam Keighley, Chair of Key Fund, said: “Social enterprise has become integral in delivering key services to society, as well as generating thousands of jobs and contributing to local economies. These figures show how investing the right money, in the right way, into the right hands can support enduring and sustainable social enterprises in poor neighbourhoods, which go on to improve individual lives in innumerable ways.”
Key Fund was created in Sheffield in response to the collapse of the coal and steel industries in South Yorkshire. As a financial intermediary, it helped local communities access EU funding for regeneration projects.
Today, Key Fund provides flexible loans and grants to community and social enterprises traditionally excluded by mainstream finance. It shaped the early development of funding models for community-owned and managed assets, such as renewable energy schemes and community pubs.
The figures were released in its annual Social Impact report, which tells the stories of some of Key Fund investees, including a community theatre in Manchester, a domestic abuse charity in Rotherham, and counselling services in Birmingham.
The UK’s 100,000 social enterprises have been at the heart of community survival and recovery during the crisis, from making PPE for health workers, to providing food and connection in their neighbourhoods.
Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “Many Key Fund clients operate at the heart of their communities, focussed on supporting local people. As such, they became frontline responders in the pandemic. Our approach is to support these organisations with finance, giving them the tools to develop, grow and deliver even more. Social investment has never been so vital or needed in supporting these enterprises, who offer hope, regeneration and recovery, especially to those even more at risk of falling through the cracks in society with the fall-out of the pandemic.”
Key Fund actively targets the main causes and impacts of poverty, with 80% of its investments in organisations that are in the top 30% most deprived communities; 20% of the awards were in the 10% of most deprived areas on the indices of multiple deprivation.
In response to the pandemic, Key Fund worked with partners to secure and deliver the £18.7m Social Enterprise Support Fund, made possible by The National Lottery Community Fund. As part of this and other funding streams, in just three months, it delivered £9m of emergency grants to social enterprises hit hard by lockdowns.
For media info, photos or case studies of Key Fund social enterprises, or to request interviews, please contact Ann@causeuk.com M: 0753 489 2715.
Notes to Editors
About Key Fund
Our story began in South Yorkshire in 1999. Hit by the collapse of coal and steel industries, we wanted to find new ways of breathing life back into our neighbourhoods – to support new enterprises, create jobs and bolster these once proud communities. And so, Key Fund was formed by a group of like-minded social entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Our central mission is to provide finance – flexible loans and grant/loan packages – to help community and social enterprises to start up, become sustainable, or grow. It’s not just about the money. It’s also about providing the right kind of support to help our investees have the best possible chance of success.
We invest in the community and social enterprises that have traditionally been excluded; turned down by mainstream banks and building societies. Particularly those in disadvantaged areas. Key Fund believes in the power of people to find solutions to the challenges facing their communities. Our mission is to remove barriers to finance. Our investees have one crucial thing in common – the ambition to build and strengthen local communities.