Social enterprise fund reopens to address unequal social effects of pandemic

Half of grants aimed at groups led by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, LGBTQ+ communities and disabled people

The Social Enterprise Support Fund reopens for applications on 25 November with the aim of providing grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to social enterprises in England to support those impacted by Covid-19. Money for the fund comes from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Some £16.3m in grants will be jointly delivered by Big Issue Invest, Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and UnLtd. The goal is to help 500 enterprises. To qualify, they must have had an annual income between £20,000 and £1.8m in either of the last two financial years and most of their beneficiaries must be in England.

Mark Norbury, chief executive of UnLtd pointed out the deeply unequal effects of the pandemic and said we have seen it exacerbate existing barriers and marginalisation in society.

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The fund said it is committed to ensuring at least 50% of grants reach groups led by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; LGBTQ+ communities; disabled people; and/or leaders with lived experience of the issues their social enterprise is addressing.

Daniel Brewer, CEO of Resonance said: “We are delighted to be back with the Social Enterprise Support Fund in 2021/22, following its success last year where it supported more than 600 social enterprises, we are excited to be working again in close collaboration with our friends and partners.

“The fund will provide essential financial support to help social enterprises, right across England, to rebuild and grow their income from trading, following the impact of Covid-19 and provide support to the communities they serve.”