Small community-led charities and social enterprises in England can apply for investment to help them with their first steps towards accessing the wider social investment market and more financing options.

The First Steps Enterprise Fund is a £300,000 pilot fund managed by Social Investment Business (SIB) on behalf of the Asda Foundation.

The Fund offers loan-grant packages of up to £30,000 to charities and social enterprises working to improve lives in communities in England to help them grow their services and become more sustainable.

Organisations must be able to demonstrate that they address the needs of, and are of benefit to, their local community.

Preference is given to organisations that work in the following areas:

  • Older people.
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Employment for young people.

Packages comprise 90% loan and 10% grant, with the loan element of the package charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of four years with an optional capital holiday for the first year.

What can I apply for?
Funding packages of up to £30,000* are available (90% loan and 10% grant). The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of 4 years with an optional capital holiday for the first year.

*up to £50,000 is available for exceptional cases.

Am I eligible?
This programme is open to community organisations that:

  • Are based and work in England
  • Have been operating for at least one year
  • Can provide evidence of need for and benefit to their local community.

How do I apply?
If you would like to discuss the fund, or to explore an application on behalf of your organisation, please contact Christian Stannard christian.stannard@sibgroup.org.uk to arrange an initial telephone conversation.