Charities and social ventures urged to apply for share of £20m fund

Up to £1m apiece available for community-focused organisations

Charities and social enterprises across England have been urged to apply for a share of a new £20m investment fund, which opens today.

Set up as a joint venture between the Social Investment Business (SIB) Group and government-backed social venture bank Big Society Capital, the Community Investment Fund will invest between £250,000 and £1m into eligible organisations across England.

Both organisations have committed £10m each to the fund, with initial contributions of £3m each.

It will be administered by fund manager Social and Sustainable Capital, which was set up in 2012 in order to provide charities and other ‘third sector’ organisations with capital to further their aims.

The fund will be targeted at community-based organisations in the region that aim to improve the lives of local people, particularly the vulnerable or disadvantaged, or organisations which provide solutions to local problems or improve the local economy in general.

Social and Sustainable Capital said organisations should have a ‘clear demonstration’ of how investment repayment will be made, as well as good corporate governance in general.

National charities will not be excluded from consideration, but the fund’s creators said they must demonstrate a local focus in their applications.

The Community Investment Fund will make investments totalling around £5m a year.

To apply, organisations must submit a business plan to the Social and Sustainable website, explaining why they need a share of the funding.

Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of the Social Investment Business group, said of the partnership with Big Society Capital: “We have lent our partners our sector credibility, and they have lent us institutional knowledge – it was a meeting of need and opportunity.”

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