Matt Smith, founder and CEO, Key Fund Investments
Key Fund Investments supports businesses with grants and loans to become more sustainable. CEO Matt Smith tells BQ about his business.
What does your social enterprise do?
We are a social investor, we provide grant and loan packages to organisations that can’t access finance from traditional means.
What made you start your business up?
We identified that there was a need for this kind of capital to help organisations become more sustainable.
How do you measure your impact?
We measure impact in a number of ways, the traditional jobs created/safeguarded, new business and businesses sustained. In addition, we pull together social impact measurements around health, wellbeing, access to services, training, education to name just a few of these.
What help did you have to start your social enterprise?
We received investment from the European Reginal Development Fund.
How did you decide on what legal form would work best for your business?
Our legal form represents our ethos. As a company limited by guarantee we firstly have a clear social aim written into our governing document, and secondly we do not distribute profits; instead, we reinvest to achieve our social aim.
What’s the best thing about being a social entrepreneur?
The satisfaction of knowing you are helping other organisations deliver impact, this is what drives us as an organisation.
What has been your biggest challenge when setting up and running your social enterprise?
It is always balancing our social aims against the financial realities – we have to keep a constant balance between the two.
What advice would you give to aspiring social entrepreneurs?
Be really clear about what you want to do, and find ways to deliver that – don’t be distracted by shiny things.
What information sources would you recommend (books, websites, organisations?) to help someone just starting their social enterprise journey?
Good Finance website, to help people understand investment options.
What are your plans for the next 2-5 years?
To continue to deliver our mission, supporting even more social enterprises and adding real value.
The UK Social Entrepreneur Index, sponsored by UBS, is a celebration of social entrepreneurship across the UK.
Open to social entrepreneurs tackling a social or environmental issue at any scale, entrants will act as beacons of inspiration for others to encompass positive social impact.
For more info visit www.socialentsindex.co.uk.
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