The Communitybuilders fund is offering feasibility grants totalling £500,000 to community organisations looking to develop services that generate income.
The fund, which supports community groups, opened today for applications until 13 April. It will make up to 30 grants of between £10,000 and £25,000.
Caroline Forster, deputy chief executive of the Adventure Capital Fund, which was endowed the £27m fund by Communities and Local Government department last year, said the grants were aimed at organisations "looking to research and develop sustainable and entrepreneurial ideas that meet the social needs of their local communities".
"We hope that feasibility grant recipients may go on to access Communitybuilders main investment finance including loans or commercial finance from other investors," she said.
Successful applicants may also be eligible for up to five days of business support.
Projects must have been agreed by the organisation's own board, and the organisation must be unable to fund the project through commercial sources or its own reserves.
The Social Investment Business administers the fund on behalf of the ACF, its parent charity.