Hope announces new fund for social enterprises

Third sector minister Phil Hope has unveiled a £6m investment in social enterprise through the ChangeUp infrastructure programme.

Hope announced the money, which will be spent through organisations that provide support to social enterprises, at the Capacitybuilders annual conference in Birmingham on 17 June.

The money will be available over the next three years and will be ploughed into projects such as mentoring programmes for social enterprises. The bulk of the cash will be spent at regional level and will come out of Capacitybuilders' £88.5m budget until 2011.

Hope said that Capacitybuilders would work with the Social Enterprise Coalition to develop a national knowledge database for social enterprise. "We have identified the need to offer more specific support to social enterprises," Hope said. "That is why I'm very pleased to announce this investment."

Catherine Johnston, acting chief executive of Capacitybuilders, said the money would support up to 45 projects across nine regions in England. "It is a different approach," she said. "It's about Capacitybuilders reaching out into the community to those that are in greatest need."

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Social Enterprise London, described the money as brilliant. "It is the first time that anyone has had the chutzpah to recognise that our movement could do with a bit of coordination," she said.

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