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Frequently asked questions

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When does SE-Assist open for applications?

SE-Assist opens for applications at 9am on 17 April 2018

How long is the application process open for?

SE-Assist closes for applications at 5pm on 21 May 2018

When will I know if my application to SE-Assist has been successful or not?

The process page shows how we will be reviewing applications.

You will receive an email directly to the email address provided on the application form to inform you of the outcome at each stage.

My social enterprise is not currently incorporated. Am I still able to apply to SE-Assist?

If you are not currently incorporated or set up as a social enterprise you must have clear plans as to how you will constitute yourself (including draft Memorandum and Articles of Association) and clear business plans.

If we make an offer of support, you will not be able to receive the loan until you are constituted.

How long does it approximately take to complete the application form?

This will vary depending on how accessible your business information is.

If you have the details to hand and have a well-planned proposition then it will not take you long.

Do I need a business plan?

A formal business plan is not a requirement of the application process.

However, we positively welcome additional supporting materials and detailed information. A business plan is a great way for us to understand your proposal in more depth and demonstrates that you have carefully thought through your planned development.

What are the payback terms?

The loans are interest free and there are no fees for taking on an SE-Assist loan.

Loans should be paid back within two to three years, usually in monthly or quarterly instalments.

What happens next? How long before I can draw down on the loan?

Once approved, there will be a period of legal completion before you are able to draw down the approved funds.

During this time, you will be required to submit certain identification documents and signed resolutions in order to legally complete.

The final drawdown date for the loan will be stated on the terms of conditions of the loan and will depend on the information you have supplied during the application phase.

What can’t the loan be used as payment for?

As the loan uses charitable money the loan has to be used for a social purpose.

If you decide to change direction of how the money will be used then you will need to gain SIC approval to do so. Please contact CAF Venturesome if you have any queries regarding changing the purpose of your organisation’s loan.

What reporting requirements are there?

On a quarterly basis, you will have a three-way call between your organization, your mentor and your designated CAF Venturesome investment manager. You will be required to submit updated financial information and management accounts ahead of the call.

The call covers your organisation’s activities over the past quarter and tracks progress on social and financial performance indicators. This information will be shared with the Social Investment Committee. In addition, you will be expected to provide regular updates to your mentor.

Who is CAF?

Charities Aid Foundation is one of the largest charities in the UK, pioneering effective ways for donors and charities to achieve greater social impact.

CAF is the market leader in managing philanthropic capital with over £1.1 billion held in custody for our donors. CAF Bank and CAF Venturesome offer deposit, lending and social investment solutions to 16,000 charities and social enterprises.

CAF Venturesome is one of the most established and active players in the social investment market.

Over the past 15 years, it has supported more than 500 charities and social enterprises with over £40 million of affordable finance in the form unsecured loans, underwriting and quasi-equity, enabling them to flourish.