New Funding Available for Charities and Social Enterprises

September 21, 2017

Good causes in Somerset could soon benefit from a new boost to the Somerset Social Enterprise Fund (SSEF), which is delivered by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF).

The SSEF, which was established in 2014 with initial funding from Somerset County Council, has recently been enhanced by additional finance from the Growth Fund, which is managed by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital, and is designed to help charities and social enterprises start, develop and grow by funding financially sustainable business models.

A blended range of funding, which will combine grants with loans, is now available for local organisations and funding packages will range from £25,000 to £100,000 to support charities and social enterprises that both deliver benefit to society as well as generate financial returns.

Compass Disability, We’re Eco, the Trident Youth and Community Centre and Taunton Athletic Club have already benefitted from the Somerset Social Enterprise Fund and SCF is keen to hear from more organisations.

Justin Sargent, CEO of Somerset Community Foundation, said: “The Growth Fund is enabling us to offer a broader blend of funding to enterprising social-purpose organisations through our Somerset Social Enterprise Fund. There is a growing interest among local charities and social enterprises in adopting business models designed to become financially self-sustaining, and we are very keen to hear from any groups or individuals who have a great idea they’d like to get off the ground or an existing project they’d like to grow.”

Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access said: “We are delighted to be helping Somerset Community Foundation offer a more flexible range of blended loan and grants to charities and social enterprises across the County. The Growth Fund aims to make social investment more accessible and Somerset Community Foundation’s long standing role in supporting the sector means that they are ideally placed to do just that.”

Cllr David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “It is fantastic news that Somerset Community Foundation is able to offer local charities and social enterprises this valuable funding. The grants and loans can help organisations set themselves up as sustainable businesses or allow them to expand the great work they do to support local communities.

“The County Council helped the Somerset Community Foundation set up the Social Enterprise Fund three years ago and I am so pleased that it has gone from strength to strength to support charities and social enterprises to continue their work for the benefit of Somerset people.”

Somerset Community Foundation is also involved in programmes designed to help organisations develop their business plans and work towards enhancing social investment. Details are available here or call 01749 344949 for more information.

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