The £10m fund is a three-year scheme managed by the SIB on behalf of the Cabinet Office and offers grants of between £50,000 and £150,000 to social ventures. It will fund activities such as business planning, impact measurement and financial management.
Early investments include Midlands Together, a community interest company that has received about £150,000 to develop a £3m bond to create a construction company employing ex-offenders, and Shared Lives Plus, a network for community services that has also received about £150,000.
Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of the SIB, said: "We have seen an unprecedented demand for our investment readiness grants in the past few months, indicating that the fund is becoming key to the investment journey of high growth social ventures.
"This early success shows that the right support can really deliver results and help social ventures access new forms of finance to grow."