Austen Shakespeare

Sheffield support agency part of £16.3m social enterprise support fund

Key Fund, the north’s leading social investor, is one of five support agencies delivering £16.3m of grants to support social enterprises impacted by Covid-19.

The Social Enterprise Support Fund is now open for a second round of funding. The fund will provide grants of between £10k and £100k. Sheffield-based Key Fund supports social enterprises across Yorkshire, as well as the North and Midlands.

The Social Enterprise Support Fund will continue its focus on social enterprises supporting their communities to recover from the pandemic.

This follows the first round of applications received in December, which saw over 800 applications from enterprises across England, requesting grants to the value of over £37m.

The fund is available to social enterprises if most of their beneficiaries are in England, and their annual income has been between £20k and £1.8m in either of the last two financial years.

Key Fund joins Big Issue Invest, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and UnLtd to jointly deliver the grants, aiming to help 500 enterprises.

The COVID-19 crisis continues to disproportionately hurt communities who already experience social and economic inequalities.

The fund will support social entrepreneurs who help these communities, including leaders with lived experience, and ensure they can put their solutions into practice to help people most impacted by the crisis. The UK’s 100,000 social enterprises will be at the heart of community recovery from this crisis.

The fund is committed to inclusion, working to ensure that the at least 50 per cent of grants reach 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 is addressing.

Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “The UK’s social enterprises have been at the heart of community survival and recovery during the pandemic.

“In a post-Covid world, where the inequalities within society are even starker, the work of these organisations will be needed more than ever. This grant funding has already proven to be a lifeline to many social enterprises and the communities they work in, and so we welcome this second round of financial support.”

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