Access – The Foundation for Social Investment has announced a £40m grants and learning programme to improve the business skills of charities and social enterprises.
The Enterprise Development Programme, which will be worth approximately £8m a year for the next five years, will be launched later this month with two year-long pilot schemes focused on the youth and homelessness sectors.
The first pilot scheme is a grant programme called Enterprise Grants, which will be administered by the Social Investment Business and is set to award £1.85m in grants over the next year.
The grants programme will make two types of grant available: feasibility grants of £5,000 to £10,000 to develop enterprise propositions; and larger development grants of around £50,000.
Applications to the grants programme will have to be submitted from 24 September, Access said.
The second pilot, called Enterprise Learning, will provide business support and expert guidance over an eight-day programme held in London, as well as webinars and a "match trading" grant to incentivise growth through trading.
Enterprise Learning, which will be run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, will help 40 leaders of social enterprises and charities who are looking to develop income from trading.
Seb Elsworth, chief executive of Access, said: "Access was set up with funds from government to help social investment be a more useful tool for charities and social enterprises.
"Key to this happening is the development of enterprise models within the sector. This is what this new programme is all about."
He said the decision to focus on the homelessness and youth sectors in the programme’s first year came because both sectors "have significant untapped potential for enterprise development and therefore a latent requirement for social investment".
The two pilots would also help in the delivery of the rest of the Enterprise Development Programme, Elsworth said.