The Social Enterprise Support Fund has been introduced to deliver financial support to social enterprises that are best placed to support local, vulnerable communities in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

What is the funding for?

The funding can be used to help finance two types of support:

  • Funding for activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19; and/or
  • Helping organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they are facing as a result of the crisis.

When can you apply?

The funding has been released in three rounds, and applications for round three:

  • Open at 1pm on Thursday 10 September; and
  • Close at 1pm on Thursday 17 September.

If you applied in round one or round two, you are unable to apply for round three.

How much you can apply for?

You can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £300,000, however most grants will be between £10,000 and £50,000.

The grant must be spent within six months of your grant offer date, or by 19 April 2021, if that is sooner.

As this is six-month emergency funding, applications for substantially more than half your annual income from the previous year are unlikely to be considered.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for this funding, your social enterprise must:

  • Be based in England, with most beneficiaries also in England;
  • Be incorporated. You may be a charitable company, a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), a Community Interest Company (CIC) or a Community Benefit Society (CBS / Registered Society); or
  • Be a company limited by guarantee (CLG), a company limited by shares (CLS), a co-operative society, or other registered society;
  • Have been incorporated at least a year ago – registered with Companies House, the FCA or the Charity Commission;
  • Have an annual income between £20,000 and £1.8 million, either in the last financial year or the year up to 31 March 2020;
  • Be primarily reliant on trading income, for example sales and delivery of contracts, to deliver social impact.
In addition to the above criteria, you will be required to demonstrate that your social enterprise works to connect and/or support in at least one of the areas below. If more than one area is applicable, the one that best describes your work should be selected.

People who are at high risk from COVID-19

  • Older people;
  • Disabled people;
  • People that have been pushed into crisis; or
  • Those people in medical care or end of life care.

People most likely to encounter increased demand and challenges as a result of COVID-19

  • Families that have been severely impacted;
  • BAME and other communities experiencing health inequalities;
  • People experiencing loneliness and social isolation;
  • People suffering poor mental health; or
  • Children and young people looking to achieve their potential.

How will applications be assessed?

Applications for funding will be assessed based on the principles below.

  • The long-term social impact of your social enterprise, taking into account how much impact your social enterprise has and how vulnerable the people you work with are;
  • The impact your enterprise has had during the crisis and the services delivered;
  • An understanding of your strategy to manage through the crisis and an explanation of how, if you receive the funding, your enterprise will continue to deliver an impact in the future; and
  • Inclusion within your social enterprise, ensuring the grants reach groups led by BAME communities, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, and leaders with lived experience of the issues your enterprise is addressing.

Priority will be given to those social enterprises in difficulty, where options for receiving other support are limited.

What information do you have to provide?

The application requires you to provide a projected income and expenditure for the next 12 months (or a 12-month period that covers at least until December 2020).

You will also be asked to provide:

  • Details of the income and expenditure predicted before COVID-19;
  • Prediction of income and expenditure now; and
  • How this has changed.

Additional guidance on the application process and requirements can be found here.

How do I apply?

You can apply online using the application form which will be at the bottom of this page when applications open.