An organisation to provide loans, training and business support to social economy organisations in Scotland was launched last week with an initial £250,000 investment.
Social Economy Enterprise Development (Seed) is an initiative of voluntary sector loan fund Social Investment Scotland and social enterprise support agency Community Enterprise.
The body will be a locally based loan provider for groups working to achieve social, economic and physical renewal in local authority areas across Edinburgh, Fife, Forth Valley and Lothian.
Social Investment Scotland chief executive Scott Anderson said: "Organisations that have had difficulty obtaining finance via traditional routes will now have access to a new source of funding. Seed has strong links to both banks and social economy sector specialist financial institutions."
Initially Seed will offer £250,000 loan finance for loans of between £2,500 and £50,000.