Social enterprises affected by Covid-19 can now apply for between £10,000 and £300,000 through the Social Enterprise Support Fund (SESF), it has been announced.
The new grant will be delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund in collaboration with five social enterprise support agencies, including Big Issue Invest, The Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd.
Under the scheme, social enterprises in England can apply for a portion of the £18.7 million grant fund to boost cash flow or help “change the way they work”, such as adapting workspaces in line with public health guidelines.
Commenting on the announcement, Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “We know from experience that these organisations, operating at the very frontline, are best placed to help communities respond to the challenges of Covid-19.
“For years, we have championed the use of loans to support the development of trading in social enterprises, as a way to independence and resilience. Now, with trading impacted by lockdown for many, and with the need for services increasing, it is the time to go back to grants.”
He added: “Covid-19 has hit the marginalised, poorest and most vulnerable the hardest, so it is critical social enterprises are supported with the ‘right money, at the right time’ when they are needed like never before as a lifeline to jobs, community, social care, health and well-being.”
To apply, your social enterprise must have been incorporated for at least one year and have an income of between £25,000 and £1.5 million, was financially stable, and was reliant on trading income before Covid-19.
Do note that your application will be preferred if your social enterprise benefits people who are at high risk of Covid-19, or supports people “most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis”.
For help applying for grant funding and improving your chances of success, please get in touch with our expert team today.