The Big Lottery Fund has announced Big Potential, a £10 million fund designed to help charities and social enterprises access finance. This should help them improve their scale, capacity and sustainability. It is designed for organisations “at the beginning of their social investment journey”.
Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations can register interest in the fund now, and applications for funding will be accepted from March 2014.
The programme of funding and support will be delivered by the Social Investment Business in partnership with Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK, Locality and the University of Northampton.
Eligible organisations will be able to access specialist support from these partners before they make an application for grants between £25,000 and £75,000 to undertake more in-depth investment readiness work with one of Big Potential’s approved providers.
Big Potential was developed in response to findings in a report on the social investment market commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund and carried out by ClearlySo and New Philanthropy Capital.
Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Social Investment Business, said:
“We have seen the impact that this combination of financial and business support can have in helping charities and social enterprises develop their business models, and it is good for the sector that more organisations will now be able to access this kind of support through the Big Potential programme.”
Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England Chair, added:
“Providing support for charities and social enterprises to help them access finance is a key priority of our social investment strategy in England and very important in these difficult times. With this appointment we are glad to be in a position to offer support to VCSE organisations, that want to scale up and become more sustainable so they can better serve those most in need.