3rd and final round of the £18.7 million Social Enterprise Support Fund opens to applications today (application deadline 17 September 2020)

This is the last opportunity for incorporated organisations across England to apply to the Social Enterprise Support Fund, a £18.7 million revenue grant programme with no matched funding requirement aimed at helping social enterprises whose trading income has been adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The programme aims to provide short-term support over the next six months so that social enterprises can meet additional demands, change the way they work, make their spaces COVID-secure, and manage liquidity.

The Fund is aimed at social enterprises supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19. Applications are particularly welcomed from organisations that are led by people from BAME backgrounds, people with disabilities, from the LGBTQ+ community or by people with lived experience of their beneficiary group(s).

Social enterprises in England may apply for a grant of between £10,000 and £300,000 with no matched funding requirement.

However, the vast majority of awards will be for less than £50,000. Requests for grants over £50,000 will be subject to additional scrutiny and awards over this level are expected to be rare. Grants must be spent within six months of the grant offer date or by Monday 19 April 2021, whichever is the earlier.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

o Have a clear social purpose.
o Have a restriction on distribution of profits, to the extent that at least 51% of surpluses are reinvested for its social purpose.
o Have an asset lock in their rules/Articles of Memorandum.
o Have been incorporated for at least a year (ie. registered with Companies House, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Charity Commission).
o Have had an annual income of between £20,000 and £1.8 million before COVID-19 (either in the organisation’s last financial year or in the year up to 31 March 2020).
o Have been financially stable on 31 December 2019. This means if the COVID-19 crisis had not struck, there would have been a good expectation that the organisation would have been viable this year and into the foreseeable future, and
o Be substantially reliant on trading income to deliver social impact (for example, sales and contracts). Priority will be given to organisations where trading is a majority of their income and where a loss of trading income has had a substantial impact on their ability to deliver their social impact.

Grants can be used for:

1. Activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19, or
2. Helping organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they are facing as result of the crisis.

Some examples of how grants can be used include (please note that this is not an exclusive list).

o Continuing to provide food and essentials to vulnerable people.
o Core costs, if the organisation’s ongoing services for vulnerable communities are threatened due to severe and acute financial difficulties.
o Making the spaces where the organisation works or runs activities COVID-secure, purchasing PPE, so that services to vulnerable people can be provided.
o Providing services in a different way to meet the needs of the community, such as moving counselling services online for people affected by COVID-19, and/or
o Supporting additional services to meet the needs of people affected by the crisis, eg, increased mental health support for vulnerable young people.

The final application round of the Social Enterprise Support Fund opens at 1pm today, 10 September and has a closing date of Thursday 17 September 2020.

Organisations are expected to receive a decision on their application within 4 weeks.

Further information, guidance notes and an online application form can be found on the Social Enterprise Support Fund website.

Contact details for the Fund are simply:

The Social Enterprise Support Fund
Email: help@sesupportfund.org.uk

(A phone number is not advertised for this programme.)