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Help for social enterprises

We've gathered together resources and guidance to help and support social enterprises. 

Ashfield Community Fund

If you are a small community group who delivers a project in Ashfield, then ‘The Ashfield Community Fund’ could be a useful resource to help support you. Grants between £500 to £1,000 are available. This fund was opened by the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation on 1 September 2021 and will close on 31 October 2021.

Ashfield Voluntary Action

Provides support for voluntary and community groups throughout the District. They can help with setting up a new community group, assisting you to grow your organisation, sourcing funding, writing business grant applications, understanding governance policies and procedures.


There is a lot of Information and guidance on starting and running a social enterprise or CIC, statutory rights and obligations and government support products and services on Gov.UK, including the ability to search for support using the finance and support finder tool.

Find out more on the Gov.UK website. 

Community Ownership Fund

This is a new £150M fund that will enable Community groups to bid for up to £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses. The first bidding round for the Community Ownership Fund will open by June 2021.

Find out more on the Community Ownership Fund website.

Big Issue Invest

Big Issue Invest helps social enterprises and charities by providing loans and investments.

They have a special support package to assist social enterprises through the COVID-19 crisis. Must be trading for at least 24-months to be considered. 

Find out more on the Big Issue Invests website. 

The Key Fund

They support social enterprises in the midlands and north with getting help with securing finance through loans and grants which will be used to improve local communities through economic and environmental impacts.

These could be through projects such as:

  • restoring a derelict building
  • buying equipment
  • meeting start-up costs.

You can find out more on the The key fund website or contact them by:

Community Fund

National Lottery funding can help you to make a difference in your community. They offer funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities. 

Find out more on the Community Fund website. 


There is a grant search portal called GrantNav that is aimed at social enterprise organisation and enables you to source potential grant funding’s to support different community causes. 

Find out more on the GrantNav website. 

Funding Central

This is another search portal, it’s free to use and you can look for grants aimed at social enterprises and charities. They also have news and information and you can sign up for alerts.

Find out more on the Funding Central website. 

The People's Health Trust

They support local groups and organisations across UK who have great ideas to make their communities even better places to live in.

They focus on projects that bring people together, overcoming health inequalities and they have a fund called – Active Communities which is open to not-for-profit organisations that have an income of less than £350K per year or an average of £350K over 2 years.

They look for small projects seeking investment between £5K and £50K lasting two years and which are run by local people. By small we mean a group of people on an estate, in a few streets or villages.

You can find out more on The People's Health Trust website or you can contact them by:

Severn Trent Community Fund

Severn Trent Water have a community fund that charities and community groups can apply for. This fund is aimed at:

  • people - projects that help people to lead a healthier life and gain new skills
  • places - projects that help to create better places to live in and use
  • environment - projects that will help look after our natural environment, give people greater access to that environment or help look after water.

Grants between £2,000 and £200,000 are available. Find out more on the Severn Trent’s Community Fund website. 

The Big House Programme

This programme is a free support service for creative and digital businesses with the aim of providing tailored mentoring, workshops and grants to help with pre-start, start-ups or established or growth staged business.

This programme works with other business support organisations such as NBV and Nottingham Trent University.

You can find out more on the The Big House Programme website or you can contact them by:

Business Champions

Business Champions is a scheme that brings individuals with at least 5 years business management experience who wish to voluntarily share their knowledge and expertise with community enterprises to assist business development projects.

They can provide assistance with strategic planning, project management, marketing and fundraising through mentoring and coaching as well as acting as Board Members and Trustees.

For more information visit the Business Champions website. You can also contact Ms. Ann Hilton by: 

Pro Help

Businesses undertake one-off projects for free, which could include:

  • feasibility studies
  • structural surveys
  • developing PR and marketing strategies and business plans
  • graphic design and rebranding
  • legal and accountancy advice
  • and property valuations.

Find out more on the Pro Help website or contact Ms Ann Hilton by: 

Screwfix Foundation

Currently offers local registered charities and not for profit organisations funding of up to £5,000 to support projects that relate to repair, maintenance, improvement or construction of homes, community buildings and other buildings. All applications are reviewed individually on a quarterly basis, the review dates are in March, June, September and December.

Community Energy England

Support community energy projects and have a lot of grants listed which can help local community groups with delivering environmental or energy impactful projects.

The Nottinghamshire Community Foundation

An independent charity set up to encourage philanthropy for the benefit of the people in Nottinghamshire, they can act as a broker between funders and community groups.

Reaching Communities England

Offers grant funding over £10,000 for projects that last up to five years. Money can be used for: the purchasing, refurbishing or developing of land and buildings. I.T. upgrades/purchases, costs associated with delivering activities in your community.

Community Fund

National Lottery funding can help you to make a difference in your community. They offer funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities.

NEP Energy Services

Assist third sector organisations to become more energy efficient. They have worked with over 100 organisations including sports clubs and community centres. 100% of NEP Energy Services profits are reinvested in public health and carbon reduction projects.

Ways to contact business support

The best way to contact us is through our online form so we have the right information to help you as quickly as possible. Contact us by: