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Help for social enterprises

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

Gov.UK

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. 

Ashfield District Council Business Growth Grant

While this scheme is currently on hold we manage a business growth grants scheme that can cover up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of £2,500.

It’s for established SME businesses and includes social enterprises where they have a trading division. You must be able to produce a viable Growth Plan which will need to encourage new job creations.

You can contact us about this grant by: 

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. 

GrantNav

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: 

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: