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Key Fund to support 100 enterprises a year with £10m new funding

Melanie May | 28 October 2016 | News

North of England investor in community and social enterprises Key Fund has announced its intention to invest in 100 enterprises per year for the next three years, with £10m of new funds.
The new funds are being announced at its launch event today. They include a £5.5m Northern Impact Fund, supported by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, with funding from Big Society Capital and the Big Lottery Fund. Key Fund has also secured £4.5m of new finance direct from Big Society Capital, to support general investment activity.
Key Fund’s mission is to invest in enterprises that make a real difference to local communities. All of its investments are made to enterprises turned down by mainstream finance providers, particularly those with a high social impact in disadvantaged areas.
In the last year Key Fund invested a total of £10m in 201 enterprises, which received from £5k to £300k each. According to Key Fund, the investments created 37 new businesses, created 293 jobs and safeguarded 188 jobs, and included East Street Arts, which received a £110,000 loan to renovate a building in Leeds and create a residential Art Hostel and creative hub. Eudaimonia, which provides affordable, healthy ‘social’ eating to help address social isolation and improve community health through its Super Kitchen, received a £90,000 loan to help it purchase a vehicle and ancillary equipment.
Nicola Greenan, external relations director for the Art Hostel (pictured), said:

“Even though it’s a strong business model because it’s completely new and we’re a charity, it was difficult to get high street lending, especially in the current economic climate. Without Key Fund’s support, the project wouldn’t have happened.”

Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, added:


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“There are inspiring businesses and individuals who are not only generating jobs in some of the most disadvantaged communities, but are also tackling deep-rooted social issues. We’re now looking for 300 more community and social enterprises to come forward over the next three years, whether they are start-ups or existing enterprises looking to expand, diversify or grow.”

Information on how to apply for the Northern Impact Fund is available on the Key Fund site.