Traditional funding is often too restricted and can encourage dependence. Grants that focus on boosting traded income can help social enterprises to grow on their own terms and become more sustainable.
Social enterprise Carefree offers unpaid carers a break by tapping into the power of tech and vacant hotel rooms. It has proven its business model, yet cannot access the finance it needs to grow. What could investors do differently?
Research on catalytic capital tends to focus on what motivates the providers – but what about those receiving it? Bjoern Struewer and Jed Emerson explore how entrepreneurs use grants to take strategic risks and finance growth.
England social enterprises can get grants of up to £100,000 to help them “get back on their feet”, under Lottery-funded scheme first set up in 2020, and once again delivered by Big Issue Invest, Key Fund, Resonance, SSE and UnLtd.
Latest figures from the UK's CIC Regulator show almost 5,000 more CICs on the register in 2021, bringing total to nearly 24,000 and surpassing growth rate reported by Companies House – but dependency on grant funding remains unclear.
Conservative MP and civil society review author Danny Kruger highlights new funds that social enterprises should watch, adding that Treasury ministers are “very supportive” of social enterprise – but also “very distracted” right now.
Crunching the numbers from social sector organisations that have closed could help others to predict and prevent financial fragility. From salary spend to income type, financial benchmarking specialist MyCake suggests key questions to explore.