A lot of individuals who set up Social Enterprises face the problem of funding. How do you raise it? Where does it come from? When do you need it? All questions which I will answer today.

You might face these issues during the start-up process of your Social Enterprise, or when you are wanting to grow your enterprise. You will be happy to hear that there are loads of organisations that can help with funding.

 

Self-funding

This does exactly what it says on the tin, it just means you provide the money from your own pocket.

 

Services and products

Just because you are a Social Enterprise doesn’t mean you can’t provide a product or service to customers. You can sell your products and services, then use the surplus/profit to invest in your social impact.

 

Apply for funding

  • Government grant
  • Loan

 

What you need to know.        

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, don’t get caught out.

 

My experience

When I set up my Social Enterprise, years ago, there was no specific organisation set up to help fund social enterprises, unfortunately. This might have been difficult for me at the time, but it also means that I have done first-hand research into where to obtain funding, especially in the UK, which I can share with you. I have come across organisations, like community foundation, Santander, that help fund Social Enterprises, Charities and non-profit organisations.

I have also looked at social impact investment organisations, which help fund social enterprises, one of which is Big Issue, who invest in a lot of enterprises. Another one would be Bridges Ventures who fund a lot of social enterprises. Then there is CAF venture, Ethex and Good Finance, Good Finance particularly helps to navigate you through the world of Social Investment. Good Finance helps to match Social Enterprises with potential investors.

 

Final Tips

  • Do you own research, use the above as a baseline, but ultimately you need to find the funding that is right for you and your Social Enterprise. You don’t have to figure it out alone, I’ve been down a similar path and have made the mistakes you can avoid.
  • There is specific funding for start-up Social Enterprises and Social Enterprises which are experiencing growth, so if you apply for funding make sure you are applying for the right one.
  • Social Enterprise UK has a lot of information about funding which you can use.

 

Just remember that I am here to help if you are struggling with funding. Don’t wander around the maze alone, when you can have a guide to help you through. Let me be your guide.