SE-Assist Sussex logo

Author Archive for Anthony Irtelli

Cronfa Arloesol Yn Ailagor I Roi Cymorth Ariannol A Busnes Hanfodol I Fentrau Cymdeithasol Yng Nghymru

Erbyn hyn, mae gan fentrau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru y cyfle i wneud cais am becyn cyllid a chymorth er mwyn gweddnewid eu busnes, yn ogystal â chefnogi eu cymuned leol.

Bydd yr ymgeiswyr llwyddiannus yn cael cynnig benthyciad di-log rhwng £10,000 a £30,000, mentora gan gefnogwyr corfforaethol a mynediad i gronfa o arbenigwyr.

Mae cynllun arobryn Social Enterprise Assist (SE-Assist), a arbrofwyd yn gyntaf yn Brighton & Hove yn 2012, yn cysylltu mentrau cymdeithasol â chwmnïau mawr yn yr ardal leol ac, o ganlyniad, yn chwistrellu ffyniant i gymunedau lleol. Mae’r fenter arloesol hon yn cael ei hariannu gan Legal & General a’i rheoli gan CAF Venturesome er mwyn helpu mentrau cymdeithasol i ddechrau, ffynnu a sbarduno adfywio yng Nghymru. Crëwyd Cronfa SE-Assist mewn partneriaeth â Llywodraeth Cymru, Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru, Busnes yn y Gymuned Cymru a Sefydliad y Cyfarwyddwyr Cymru. Y llynedd, yn dilyn nifer uchaf erioed o geisiadau a phroses diwydrwydd dyladwy drwyadl, cynigiwyd cymorth i chwe busnes cymdeithasol yng Nghymru:

  • Mae Antur ‘Stiniog yn hyrwyddo twristiaeth leol drwy ganolfan beicio i lawr mynyddoedd a chanolfan groeso ym Mlaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Mae Book of You yn hyfforddi gofalwyr cartrefi nyrsio yn Sir Ddinbych ar sut mae defnyddio ap ar y we i ddarparu therapi atgofion amlgyfrwng.
  • Mae Canolfan Biwmares yn ganolfan hamdden sy’n darparu gwasanaethau chwaraeon, iechyd a chymunedol i breswylwyr Ynys Môn.
  • Mae Elite Paper Solutions yn darparu hyfforddiant a chyflogaeth i bobl anabl drwy fusnes storio dogfennau, sganio ac ailgylchu ym Merthyr Tudful.
  • Mae Sefydliad y Glowyr, Llanhiledd, ger Abertyleri, yn adeilad rhestredig ac yn ganolfan ar gyfer y gymuned.
  • Mae Partneriaeth Dulliau Adferol Cymru, yng Nghaerdydd, yn hyrwyddo’r defnydd o ddulliau adferol wrth fynd i’r afael â gwrthdaro dynol.

Gall busnesau a hoffai gael mwy o fanylion a gwneud cais fynd i wefan SE-Assist Cymru ar https://se-assist.co.uk/cymru/. Bydd modd gwneud cais o 21 Ebrill 2017 ymlaen.

Rydym wrth ein boddau y bydd cronfa SE-Assist Cymru ar gael eto ar gyfer ail gylch buddsoddi. Mae’r sector busnesau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru yn ffynnu, ac amcangyfrifir ei fod yn werth £2.37 biliwn i economi Cymru. Mae’r cymorth y gall SE-Assist ei roi i fentrau cymdeithasol yn y camau cynnar yn helpu i gynyddu hyn ymhellach.

Rydym yn falch bod cronfa SE-Assist yn dychwelyd oherwydd ei bod yn rhoi help hanfodol i egin-fentrau cymdeithasol fel y gallant gael troedle cynaliadwy yn eu sector a chael mynediad i gyfleoedd i dyfu.

Mae busnesau cymdeithasol yn darparu swyddi, cyfleoedd hyfforddiant a gweithgarwch economaidd mewn cymunedau lleol ledled Cymru. Rydym yn edrych ymlaen at weithio gyda’n partneriaid eto ar ddarparu SE-Assist Cymru, a helpu mwy o fusnesau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru i wireddu eu potensial i dyfu.

DEREK WALKER, PRIF WEITHREDWR CANOLFAN CYDWEITHREDOL CYMRU

Graham PreceyRydym wrth ein boddau bod Cronfa SE-Assist Legal & General wedi bod mor llwyddiannus ac, o ganlyniad, gallwn bellach gynnig ail gylch buddsoddi er mwyn cefnogi nifer o fentrau lleol ac amrywiol ledled Cymru – mae’n gyffrous iawn i ni fod yn rhan o’u datblygiad ac i’w helpu i symud ymlaen.

GRAHAM PRECEY, PENNAETH CYFRIFOLDEB CORFFORAETHOL LEGAL & GENERAL

Rydym yn falch o gynnig SE-Assist Cymru ar gyfer ail gylch o fuddsoddi yng Nghymru er mwyn helpu mentrau cymdeithasol i ffynnu yn y camau cynnar. Gall mentrau cymdeithasol wneud gwahaniaeth enfawr i bobl yn y cymunedau lle maent yn gweithredu a chael effaith gymdeithasol sylweddol.

Fel un o gronfeydd buddsoddi cymdeithasol mwyaf hirsefydlog y DU, mae CAF Venturesome yn teimlo’n gyffrous o gael gweithio gyda’n partneriaid er mwyn cynyddu’r cyfle i fanteisio ar arbenigedd cyllid a busnes i fentrau cymdeithasol yn y camau cynnar yng Nghymru.

Yn aml mae’r entrepreneuriaid blaengar hyn yn cael trafferth dod o hyd i’r math cywir o gyllid a chymorth angenrheidiol er mwyn eu galluogi i droi eu syniadau’n fusnesau. Mae SE-Assist yn canolbwyntio ar sianelu adnoddau ar gyfer twf, gan alluogi mentrau cymdeithasol i ffynnu.

HOLLY PIPER, PENNAETH CAF VENTURESOME YN SEFYDLIAD CYMORTH I ELUSENNAU

Pioneering Fund Reopens to Provide Critical Financial and Business Support for Social Enterprises in Wales

Social enterprises in Wales now have the opportunity to apply for a package of finance and support aimed at transforming their business as well as supporting their local community.

Successful applicants will be offered an interest free loan of between £10,000 and £30,000, mentoring from corporate supporters and access to a bank of experts.

The multi-award-winning Social Enterprise Assist (SE-Assist) scheme, first piloted in Brighton & Hove in 2012, connects local social enterprises with larger companies in the local area and as a result injects prosperity into local communities.  This innovative initiative is funded by Legal & General and managed by CAF Venturesome to help social enterprises get off the ground, thrive and drive regeneration in Wales.  The SE-Assist Fund was created in partnership with the Welsh Government, Wales Co-Operative Centre, Business in the Community Wales and the Institute of Directors Wales. Last year, following a record number of applications and rigorous due diligence process, offers of support were made to six social businesses across Wales:

  • Antur ‘Stiniog promotes local tourism through a downhill mountain bike and tourist information centre based in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Book of You trains nursing home carers in Denbigshire on how to use a web app to deliver multimedia reminiscence therapy.
  • Canolfan Beaumaris is a leisure centre providing sports, health and community services to the residents of Anglesey.
  • Elite Paper Solutions provides training and employment to disabled people through a document storage, scanning, and recycling business in Merthyr Tydfil.
  • The Llanhilleth Miners Institute near Abertillery is a listed building and a centre for community engagement.
  • The Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership, based in Cardiff, promotes the use of restorative approaches in dealing with human conflict.

Businesses interested in more details and how to apply can find out more on the SE-Assist Wales website.

Applications open on 21 April 2017.

We are delighted that the SE-Assist Wales fund is being opened again for a second round of investment. The social business sector in Wales is flourishing, and is worth an estimated £2.37 billion to the Welsh economy. The support that SE-Assist can provide to early stage social enterprises will help to grow this even further.

The return of the SE-Assist Wales fund is welcomed by us because the fund provides vital help to fledgling social enterprises so they can get a sustainable footing within their sector and access growth opportunities.

Social businesses are providing jobs, training opportunities and economic activity in local communities across Wales. We are looking forward to working with our partners again on delivering SE-Assist Wales, and helping more Welsh social businesses to realise their growth potential.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, Wales’ National body for co-operatives and social businesses

Graham PreceyWe are delighted that the Legal & General SE-Assist Fund has been such a success and as a result we are now able to offer a second round of investment to support a number of local and varied enterprises across Wales – we are very excited to be involved in their development and help them progress.

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Legal & General

We are thrilled to be opening SE-Assist for a second round of investment in Wales to help early stage social enterprises thrive. Social enterprises can make a huge difference to people in the communities where they operate and create significant social impact.

As one of the UK’s longest standing social investment funds, CAF Venturesome is excited to work with our partners to grow access to finance and business expertise for early stage social enterprises in Wales.

These forward-thinking entrepreneurs often struggle to find the right kind of financing and support they need to enable them to get their ideas off the ground. SE-Assist focuses on channelling resources for growth, allowing social enterprises to flourish.

Holly Piper, Head of CAF Venturesome at the Charities Aid Foundation

Pioneering Fund Provides Critical Financial and Business Support for Social Enterprises in Wales

Social enterprises in Wales now have the opportunity to apply for a package of finance and support aimed at transforming their business as well as supporting their local community.

Successful applicants will be offered an interest free loan of between £10,000 and £30,000, mentoring from corporate supporters and access to a bank of experts.

The multi-award-winning Social Enterprise Assist (SE-Assist) scheme, first piloted in Brighton & Hove in 2012, connects local social enterprises with larger companies in the local area and as a result injects prosperity into local communities. Leading insurer and Welsh employer Legal & General, which has a 1,300 employee strong office in Cardiff, has provided the funding to help social enterprises get off the ground, thrive and drive regeneration in Wales. The SE-Assist fund sits alongside Legal & General’s recent £400m investment into Cardiff’s Central Square property redevelopment project, the largest investment of its kind ever made in Wales.

The Welsh Government has committed to a secondment to support the development of the fund in Wales. Founding partners the Welsh Cooperative, Business in the Community, the Institute of Directors, and the Charities Aid Foundation have joined forces to develop and launch SE-Assist in Wales.

Since the launch of its initial pilot, SE-Assist has successfully supported 16 social enterprises in Sussex and Croydon. Previous examples of social enterprises include ethical supermarket hiSbe, dementia interventionist Engage & Create, and sustainable farming cooperative Ecological Land Co-op. They are all part of the SE-Assist story, and now through SE-Assist Wales, SE-Assist can offer more social enterprises nationally an opportunity to grow. Over ninety jobs have been created as a result of the success of businesses that have been funded to date.

Businesses interested in more details and how to apply can find out more on the SE-Assist Wales website at https://se-assist.co.uk/wales/. Applications open on 29 January 2016.

The number of social enterprises in Wales has grown rapidly in recent years, with 19% of social enterprises established within the last three years and a prevalence of social enterprises in the leisure, education, environment and health sectors.

However, mature social enterprises are more like to receive donations or to trade with the public sector than young social enterprises, with organisations commonly citing lack of access to finance and cash flow issues as barriers to sustainability.

The SE-Assist Wales fund is welcomed by us because it exists to plug this gap in support to help fledgling social enterprises get a sustainable footing within their sector and access growth opportunities.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, Wales’ National body for co-operatives and social businesses

Graham PreceyLegal & General is pleased to bring this award winning new Social Enterprise Assist fund to Wales. So far, compared to the other regions where we’ve provided this fund to in Croydon and Sussex, we’ve been hugely impressed at the amount of social impact and job creation that social enterprises have the potential to create here in Wales.

Alongside our work as a major employer in Wales and as a major investor, recently announcing our £400m investment in Cardiff regeneration, it seems only natural that we should bring our social investment fund to help the Welsh social economy to thrive. Not only will we be putting capital into the fund we will be bringing our employees mentoring skills too.

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Legal & General

We are thrilled to be bringing SE-Assist to Wales to support early stage social enterprises to thrive. Social enterprises can make a huge difference to people in the communities where they operate and create significant social impact.

As one of the UK’s longest standing social investment funds, CAF Venturesome is excited to work with our partners to grow access to finance and business expertise for early stage social enterprises in Wales.

These forward-thinking entrepreneurs often struggle to find the right kind of financing and support they need to enable them to get their ideas off the ground. SE-Assist focuses on channelling resources for growth, allowing social enterprises to flourish.

Holly Piper, Head of CAF Venturesome at the Charities Aid Foundation

Cronfa Arloesol yn Rhoi Cefnogaeth Ariannol a Chefnogaeth Fusnes Hollbwysig i Fentrau Cymdeithasol yng Nghymru

Bellach mae gan fentrau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru y cyfle i ymgeisio am becyn cyllid a chefnogaeth sydd â’r nod o drawsnewid eu busnes yn ogystal â chefnogi eu cymuned leol.

Bydd ymgeiswyr llwyddiannus yn cael cynnig benthyciad di-log rhwng £10,000 a £30,000, mentora gan gefnogwyr corfforaethol a mynediad at gasgliad o arbenigwyr.

Mae cynllun Social Enterprise Assist (SE-Assist), sydd wedi ennill sawl gwobr ac a gynhaliwyd fel cynllun peilot gyntaf yn Brighton a Hove yn 2012, yn cysylltu mentrau cymdeithasol lleol â chwmnïau mwy yn yr ardal leol ac o ganlyniad yn creu ffyniant mewn cymunedau lleol. Mae’r cwmni yswiriant a’r cyflogwr amlwg yng Nghymru, Legal & General, sydd â swyddfa o 1,300 o staff yng Nghaerdydd, wedi darparu’r cyllid i helpu mentrau cymdeithasol i gychwyn, i ffynnu ac i sbarduno adfywio yng Nghymru. Mae’r gronfa SE-Assist yn cyd-ddigwydd â buddsoddiad diweddar Legal & General o £400 miliwn ym mhrosiect ailddatblygu eiddo Sgwâr Canolog Caerdydd, y buddsoddiad mwyaf o’i fath a wnaed erioed yng Nghymru.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo i secondiad i gefnogi datblygiad y gronfa yng Nghymru. Mae’r partneriaid sefydlu Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru, Busnes yn y Gymuned, Sefydliad y Cyfarwyddwyr a’r Sefydliad Cymorth i Elusennau wedi dod ynghyd i ddatblygu a lansio SE-Assist yng Nghymru.

Ers lansio’r cynllun peilot cychwynnol, mae SE-Assist wedi llwyddo i gefnogi 16 o fentrau cymdeithasol yn Sussex a Croydon. Ymhlith yr enghreifftiau blaenorol o fentrau cymdeithasol mae archfarchnad foesegol hiSbe, ymyriadau dementia Engage & Create a menter gydweithredol ffermio cynaliadwy yr Ecological Land Co-op. Maent oll yn rhan o stori SE-Assist, ac yn awr, drwy SE-Assist Cymru, gall SE-Assist gynnig cyfle i fwy o fentrau cymdeithasol dyfu yn y wlad hon. Mae dros naw deg o swyddi wedi’u creu o ganlyniad i lwyddiant y busnesau sydd wedi cael cyllid hyd yma.

Gall busnesau sydd â diddordeb mewn cael rhagor o fanylion a dysgu sut i wneud cais ganfod mwy o wybodaeth ar wefan SE-Assist Cymru ar https://se-assist.co.uk/cymru/. Bydd y cyfnod ymgeisio’n agor ar 29 Ionawr 2016.

Mae nifer y mentrau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru wedi tyfu’n gyflym yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf, gydag 19% o fentrau cymdeithasol wedi’u sefydlu o fewn y tair blynedd diwethaf a mwyafrif y mentrau cymdeithasol yn y sectorau hamdden, addysg, yr amgylchedd ac iechyd.

Fodd bynnag, mae mentrau cymdeithasol aeddfed yn fwy tebygol o gael rhoddion neu o fasnachu â’r sector cyhoeddus na mentrau cymdeithasol ifanc, gyda sefydliadau yn aml yn cyfeirio at ddiffyg mynediad at gyllid a materion llif arian fel rhwystrau i’w cynaliadwyedd.

Rydym yn croesawu cronfa SE-Assist Cymru gan ei bod yn bodoli er mwyn llenwi’r bwlch hwn mewn cefnogaeth i helpu mentrau cymdeithasol ifanc i ennill eu plwyf yn gynaliadwy o fewn y sector a manteisio ar gyfleoedd i dyfu.

Derek Walker, Prif Weithredwr Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru, corff cenedlaethol Cymru ar gyfer mentrau cydweithredol a busnesau cymdeithasol

Graham PreceyMae’n bleser gan Legal & General ddod â’r gronfa arobryn newydd hon, Social Enterprise Assist, i Gymru. Hyd yma, o gymharu â’r rhanbarthau eraill lle rydym wedi darparu’r gronfa hon yn Croydon a Sussex, mae’r potensial sydd gan fentrau cymdeithasol i gael effaith gymdeithasol a chreu swyddi yma yng Nghymru wedi gwneud argraff aruthrol arnom.

Ar y cyd â’n gwaith fel cyflogwr o bwys yng Nghymru ac fel buddsoddwr o bwys, a ninnau’n ddiweddar wedi cyhoeddi ein buddsoddiad o £400 miliwn i adfywio Caerdydd, mae’n naturiol i ni ddod â’n cronfa buddsoddi cymdeithasol i helpu economi gymdeithasol Cymru i ffynnu. Byddwn nid yn unig yn rhoi cyfalaf yn y gronfa, ond byddwn hefyd yn cyfrannu sgiliau mentora ein gweithwyr.

Graham Precey, Pennaeth Cyfrifoldeb Corfforaethol yn Legal & General

Rydym wrth ein boddau ein bod yn dod ag SE-Assist i Gymru i gefnogi mentrau cymdeithasol sydd ar gam cynnar yn eu datblygiad i ffynnu. Gall mentrau cymdeithasol wneud gwahaniaeth aruthrol i bobl yn y cymunedau lle maent yn gweithredu a chreu effaith gymdeithasol sylweddol.

Fel un o gronfeydd buddsoddi cymdeithasol mwyaf hirsefydlog y DU, mae CAF Venturesome yn llawn cyffro ynghylch gweithio gyda’n partneriaid i gynyddu’r mynediad at gyllid ac arbenigedd busnes ar gyfer mentrau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru sydd ar gam cynnar o ran eu datblygiad. Mae’r entrepreneuriaid blaengar hyn yn aml yn cael anhawster canfod y math iawn o gyllid a chefnogaeth y mae arnynt eu hangen er mwyn gwireddu eu syniadau. Mae SE-Assist yn canolbwyntio ar gyfeirio adnoddau ar gyfer twf, gan ganiatáu i fentrau cymdeithasol ffynnu.

Holly Piper, Pennaeth CAF Venturesome yn y Sefydliad Cymorth i Elusennau

SE-Assist Wales Currently in Development

We are excited to announce that we are currently developing SE-Assist Wales, with a launch provisionally planned for winter 2015/16.

Social Enterprises

Following the announcement made on 29th September 2015 at the Social Enterprise Awards Wales, we are on the look out for ambitious social enterprises looking to scale their impact. SE-Assist provides interest free loan finance between £10,000 – £30,000, dedicated mentoring from a corporate partner and access to business expertise to support social enterprise growth aims.

We are currently accepting Expressions of Interest from social enterprise who might be interested in applying to the scheme, with a full application round scheduled to launch in the winter 2015/16.

Partners

SE-Assist is an innovative scheme that has successfully launched in two regions. SE-Assist has already supported 10 organisations across Sussex and Croydon, helping social enterprises to thrive and creating over 60 new jobs. We now plan to expand this to Wales.

To date, Legal & General has committed £100,000 and mentors to start the SE-Assist Wales fund, and Business in the Community and the Institute of Directors in Wales have been fundamental to bringing together Welsh business to support the scheme.

The Welsh Government has committed to a secondment to support the programme’s roll out. We continue to look for partners to support local regeneration through support for social enterprises. If you are a company, entrepreneur or philanthropist interested in growing the social economy in Wales, we want to hear from you.

Click here to email us if you would like to partner with us.

SE-Assist Cymru Wrthi’n Cael ei Ddatblygu

Mae’n bleser gennym gyhoeddi ein bod ar hyn o bryd yn datblygu SE-Assist Cymru, gyda’r bwriad o’i lansio yn ystod gaeaf 2015/16.

Mentrau Cymdeithasol

Yn dilyn y cyhoeddiad a wnaed ar 29 Medi 2015 yng Ngwobrau Mentrau Cymdeithasol Cymru, rydym yn chwilio am fentrau cymdeithasol uchelgeisiol sydd eisiau sicrhau effaith mor eang â phosibl. Mae SE-Assist yn darparu cyllid ar ffurf benthyciadau di-log rhwng £10,000 a £30,000, mentora penodedig gan bartner corfforaethol a mynediad at arbenigedd busnes i gefnogi amcanion twf mentrau cymdeithasol.

Ar hyn o bryd rydym yn derbyn Datganiadau o Ddiddordeb gan fentrau cymdeithasol fydd â diddordeb, o bosibl, mewn ymgeisio ar gyfer y cynllun, â’r bwriad o lansio cylch ymgeisio llawn yn ystod gaeaf 2015/16.

Partneriaid

Mae SE-Assist yn gynllun arloesol sydd wedi cael ei lansio yn llwyddiannus mewn dau ranbarth.

Mae SE-Assist eisoes wedi cefnogi 10 sefydliad ar draws Sussex a Croydon, gan helpu mentrau cymdeithasol i ffynnu a chreu dros 60 o swyddi newydd. Rydym yn awr yn bwriadu ehangu hyn i Gymru.

Hyd yma, mae Legal & General wedi ymrwymo £100,000 a mentoriaid i sefydlu cronfa SE-Assist Cymru, ac mae Busnes yn y Gymuned a Sefydliad y Cyfarwyddwyr yng Nghymru wedi chwarae rhan holl bwysig yn dwyn busnesau Cymru ynghyd i gefnogi’r cynllun. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo i secondiad i gefnogi’r broses o gyflwyno’r rhaglen. Rydym yn dal i chwilio am bartneriaid i gefnogi adfywio lleol drwy gefnogi mentrau cymdeithasol. Os ydych yn gwmni, entrepreneur neu roddwr sydd â diddordeb mewn rhoi hwb i’r economi gymdeithasol yng Nghymru, byddai’n dda gennym glywed gennych.

Cliciwch yma i anfon neges e-bost atom os hoffech ddod yn bartner.

Call for Businesses to Join New Scheme to Help the Growth of Croydon Social Enterprises

SE-Assist CroydonA pioneering government-backed scheme providing support to social enterprises will launch for the first time in Croydon this year, it was announced today.

Social entrepreneurs will have the chance to get their businesses off the ground with the help of the scheme, which will provide funding and support from businesses in their local communities. The scheme, Social Enterprise Assist (SE-Assist) led by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), will work with established businesses in Croydon to support a number of local social enterprises.

Social EnterprisesSE-Assist will now open for applications from social entrepreneurs in Croydon this March after gaining support from Croydon Council. There is £150,000 available to invest in a range of social enterprises in Croydon to support their development. SE-Assist will also re-launch in Sussex where the programme was piloted last year. The aim is to roll the scheme out to more cities and regions across the UK so more social enterprises may benefit.

Social enterprises that benefited from the scheme in Sussex last year included an ethical supermarket, a creative writing group, a parent support group and an IT consultancy charity. The support helped ethical supermarket hiSbe Food CIC get to the position where it could finally open its doors in Brighton last month after receiving a loan and expert consultancy.

The scheme currently has £330,000 in funding. £100,000 has been contributed by Legal & General, which is in addition to the £30,000 they have already invested, and £200,000 by the Coast to Capital (C2C) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The programme has the potential to deliver millions of pounds of investment to a wide range of start-up business who may currently be struggling to raise funding or lack the expertise or experience to get off the ground.  So CAF and Legal & General are calling for other businesses to join the scheme and make capital and/ or their expertise and time available to help grow businesses in their local communities.

The social entrepreneurs will be offered a unique package comprising of an interest free loan of up to £10,000, mentoring and access to an investors networks to receive expert consultancy.

Charities Aid Foundation Offers Interest-free Loan Scheme to Social Enterprise Start-ups

John LowChief executive John Low says Social Enterprise Assist, which uses money from businesses, will help to develop partnerships.

The Charities Aid Foundation has announced a scheme that will offer interest-free loans of up to £10,000 each to help new social enterprises.

The scheme, called Social Enterprise Assist, has been set up to help social entrepreneurs gain access to early-stage funding and provide other business support.

CAF has secured £130,000 of funding from Legal & General and £200,000 from the local enterprise partnership Coast to Capital to fund the scheme.

It will be rolled out in Sussex and Croydon, with a view to expanding nationally, after a successful pilot involving social enterprises based in Brighton.

It will initially offer interest-free loans of up to £10,000 each over two to three years, plus the opportunity to tap into expertise from local business.

Interested enterprises in Croydon and Sussex can apply for support from the SE-Assist scheme from March.

Social entrepreneurs are struggling more and more to find early-stage funding as grants drop away and commercial lenders take fewer risks.

This is the perfect opportunity for big business to step forward and support innovation in their local communities. It would be great to see such partnerships between big companies and social start-ups become commonplace.

John Low, Chief Executive, CAF

Graham PreceyAfter such a successful pilot, we had no hesitation in being involved and offering further investment and ‘hands-on’ support on the wider roll-out of the scheme this year.

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Legal & General

SE-Assist Roadshow – What is SE-Assist?

social enterprisesSocial enterprises are a key element of the future economy.

SE-Assist delivers support to social enterprises that have clear opportunities for success but require additional support that is not available elsewhere.

SE-Assist provides a blended package of support for social enterprises in Sussex and Croydon, which will include interest free loans, mentoring and access to expert business advice.

We are holding several roadshows across Sussex with the first one taking place in Brighton on the 29 January at the Social Enterprise Centre for Brighton & Hove. At the first event you can hear from Sarah Watkins, one of our SE-Assist 2013 winners from the award winning Parentskool.

Sign up to the free event on 29 January by clicking here.

hiSbe Open the Doors to Their Ethical Supermarket

hiSbe Official LaunchToday saw Caroline Lucas officially open the Brighton Pilot Store for hiSbe.

Unique and vibrant small businesses such as hiSbe are vital to Brighton and Hove’s economy. As well as forming part of community life, they provide valuable services, and jobs for local people.

The official hiSbe launch took place on Small Business Saturday, a campaign that encourages people to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities.

The campaign is supported by the Federation of Small Businesses, with Chairman John Allan describing it as “an excellent moment to celebrate the contribution that the smallest firms make to local communities and the national economy.”

We’re absolutely thrilled to be opening a supermarket which we hope is going to change people’s shopping habits in Brighton and beyond. The launch has been three years in the making and has come at the perfect time to coincide with Small Business Saturday.

We’re looking forward to meeting our new customers and people who have supported us, and can’t wait to offer fairly priced and fairly produced food.

Ruth Anslow, hiSbe co-founder