New £5.5m Northern Impact Fund launches

New £5.5m Northern Impact Fund launches

A £5.5m fund offering grant and loan finance to social enterprises has launched today across the North of England and the Midlands.

Key Fund, a which invests in community and social enterprises, is delivering the Northern Impact Fund, aimed at early stage enterprises who are seeking finance to help them grow.

Matt Smith, CEO of the Key Fund, said: "With this fund we’re offering finance of up to £150k, but typical investments will be around £50k, with up to 20% of the amount available as grant.

"The Key Fund was one of the early pioneers in this space, and our original model was based on a grant and loan mix, so we’re really excited to be going back to that original model. It’s long been our belief that grants can play a very important role in helping new and smaller social enterprise become more robust."

The Northern Impact Fund is open to applications from social enterprises operating in the Midlands, North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Matt said: "We have always believed small organisations can deliver big impact in disadvantaged communities. In this current economic climate, we are seeing good businesses struggling and access to finance and support has never been so crucial, so we’re delighted to be delivering the Northern Impact Fund."

Key Fund has supported hundreds of social enterprises for over 15 years. One of its first investments was in Barnsley Community Build, which delivers training and employment in the construction industry for young people and those disadvantaged in the labour market.

Matt said: "Barnsley Community Build is living proof that passion and determination, matched with the right blend of financial support, can and does make a significant difference to the development of sustainable enterprises. Our founding mission is to break down the barriers that hinder the growth of local economies and communities, for a fair society."

The Northern Impact Fund has received support from the Growth Fund, which aims to increase the availability of small, affordable, unsecured loans for charities and social enterprises.

The Growth Fund totals £45m and provides a blend of loan from Big Society Capital and grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to social investors across England.


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