Big Lottery grant Exemplas and Charity Bank £10m to get sector investment ready


The Big Lottery has chosen Exemplas, in partnership with Charity Bank to deliver deliver Big Potential, a £10m support programme for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations in England that will see the investment readiness of the sector enhanced.


The Big Lottery announced today that it has chosen Exemplas, in partnership with Charity Bank to deliver deliver Big Potential, a £10m support programme for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations.

Big Potential will launch in summer 2013 with the aim of helping to improve the sustainability, capacity and scale of VCSE organisations in order to deliver greater social impact. 
The programme is aimed at VCSE organisations at the beginning of their social investment journey and has been designed to complement a range of other initiatives including the Cabinet Office’s Investment and Contract Readiness Fund delivered by the Social Investment Business Group
As part of the Big Lottery Fund’s continued commitment to the development of the social investment market in England, Big Potential will provide much-needed support to help organisation achieve their full potential for growth. 
Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England chair said: “Providing support for charities and social enterprises to help them access investment is a key priority of our social investment strategy in England and very important in these difficult times. 
“Social investment has the potential to transform how need is met by providing greater financial incentives to improve performance. It offers the prospect of new financing tools and access to new sources of capital that could enable VCSE organisations to operate on a more sustainable footing as they provide their valued services to people and communities most in need. It brings a different model of finance to sustain the development and growth of the voluntary and social enterprise sector. At the same time, it can improve how the public sector commissions by opening up the space for VCSE to compete more effectively.”
Nat Sloane added: “Both organisations bring with them a great combination of expertise both in supporting small and medium sized enterprises and the social investment market.”
Jill Barnes, chief executive of Exemplas, added: “We are very pleased to be working with the Big Lottery Fund on this key initiative for the VCSE sector in England. The Big Potential support programme, underpinned by a combination of funding and access to specialist expertise, will make a significant contribution to a market sector that needs social investment in order to sustain its activities, achieve growth and increase social impact.”
“With over 20 years’ experience of managing government funding and providing high-quality support to UK businesses and third sector organisations, we are uniquely placed to ensure that this fund achieves its objectives and delivers real value.”
Patrick Crawford, chief executive of Charity Bank said:  “I am delighted that Charity Bank, as Exemplas’ partner, has been selected to deliver the Big Potential support programme. This support programme will improve the capacity and scale of smaller charities and social enterprises, helping the sector to thrive and deliver even greater social impact.”
This development of Big Potential addresses a current gap in investment readiness support identified by a report into the social investment market, commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund and carried out by ClearlySo and New Philanthropy Capital, which shaped the design of this fund.
Read the full report here