Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, has announced £5m of government funding for social finance.
At a social investment conference yesterday, Smith said the money would be put into the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, run by venture capital firm Bridges Ventures and the Bridges Charitable Trust.
The fund was launched in November with £4.25m to improve access to capital for new and growing social enterprises.
Smith also announced the launch of a new social investment almanac - which she described as a "comprehensive guide to social investment" - and the publication of three new guides to social return on investment.
The SROI guides will give an overview of what the method can do to help organisations, commissioners and investors achieve the best social impact in their work.
Smith told the conference: "This is an exciting time for social investment and, despite the challenging economic climate, I believe there are opportunities to be seized.
"I am keen that we develop ways to harness the power of the market and unlock mainstream capital."