Fund offers £16.3m in grants to help social enterprises recover from the pandemic

The National Lottery Community Fund will make £16.3m in grant funding available to social enterprises that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Social Enterprise Support Fund will offer grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to eligible organisations in England.

The funding will be distributed by five social enterprise support agencies to help organisations rebuild and support their communities to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

The five bodies – Big Issue Invest, Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and UnLtd – aim to support 500 social enterprises through the scheme.

The fund opened last year and distributed £18.7m in funding to more than 600 social enterprises.

The latest funding round, which opens at 1pm on 25 November, will be focused on social enterprises supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Organisations must have had an annual income of between £20,000 and £1.8m in either of the last two financial years.

At least half of the grants are expected to be allocated to groups that are led by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, LGBTQ+ communities, disabled people and/or leaders with lived experience of the issues their social enterprise addresses.

Mark Norbury, chief executive of UnLtd, said: “Last year social entrepreneurs across the UK sprang into action to help their communities at a time when needs felt overwhelming.

“We are delighted that we can provide crucial support again at a time when communities are really squeezed and when social enterprises urgently need funding to enable them to support these communities through the next six months, while also rebuilding, adapting and significantly contributing to how the UK moves forward in 2022.”

Applications must be made by 1pm on 21 December, although a further application round is due to be held in February.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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