A few months back we blogged about our pioneering new social investment scheme which had been given the green light thanks to funding from the Innovation In Giving Fund, financed by The Cabinet Office and managed by Nesta. I am proud and pleased to say that we have just launched our first SE-Assist project in partnership with Legal & General.
SE-Assist will offer five social enterprises in the Brighton and Hove area interest free loans, mentors and expert business advice.
The launch event had speakers that included the Minister for Social Enterprise Jo Swinson, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas and CAF Chief Executive John Low.
The number of social enterprises which turned out to the launch created a great energy in the room and clearly illustrated the levels of interest and brought home what a genuinely exciting and worthwhile initiative this is.
Caroline Lucas highlighted how this type of project will help her to deliver one of her key priorities, “to build a strong resilient local economy” and praised the social enterprise model as being “win-win”.
John Low, Chief Executive of Charities Aid Foundation, praised Legal & General: “We need others in financial services to follow the great lead shown by Legal & General in providing start up capital and vital business advice which can get great projects off the ground.”
If successful, we will seek to roll this out nationwide, potentially delivering millions of pounds of social investment to a wide range of charities and not-for-profit organisations currently struggling to raise funding during the recession.
Applications for this round of SE Assist are now open to charities and social enterprises in Brighton and Hove. The closing date is Friday 19 October 2012. Further details can be found at www.se-assist.co.uk.
Jonathan Gill, Corporate Advisory Manager, CAF