Social enterprise and investment news for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector organisations in the Midlands.

 Case studies

The best thing about case studies is that we can learn from them – learn what works and save time reinventing the wheel. The Good Finance website lists some great case studies. Take a glance through to get some ideas from other successful social enterprises. Don’t be afraid of contacting these organisations for further information and insight. This is all about peer support and the sector helping each other to be successful and do more good!


Case study of how an organisation looked for a new market in the face of public sector cuts

Check out this great story. A specialist charity with a strong track record & good social outcomes used social investment to provide services in a new market (schools) in the face of cuts in public sector funding. Is this something that your organisation needs to consider – to look at new and different markets in the face of public sector cuts?


Case study of a start-up social enterprise

This is a great story and with lots to be learnt! A start up social enterprise sets up a café called ‘Second Shot’ that helps homeless people to get employment ready. This social entrepreneur used Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) to access social investment to enable him to set up and deliver this community café. Take a look at this clip:

If you have identified a local need and gap and you have a great idea that you think will work then make sure that you are well informed and up to date, and that you access the right support to help you on your journey.

SITR is one great way to access capital to enable you to develop and grow your business – see here for everything that you need to know:


Case study of community organising to set up a community hub with co-operative finance and funding

A truly inspirational story here: Local people stopped a local pub from closing down and redeveloped it into community facilities and a hub of activity by buying it themselves, issuing community shares and accessing funding and finance from Co-operative and Community Finance and the More than a Pub programme.

Do you know of any local services or activities that are closing down that could be used or re-used to support the local community? There is so much support and funding available:


Social investment and funding

Social investment is a financial enablement tool – it enables organisations to focus on organisational development and long term sustainability. It can be used for buildings, infrastructure, IT, equipment, cash flow, enabling and retaining contracts and trading activities, kicking-starting new services/ projects or strategic positioning. Grant funding alone is not a viable source of sustainable business funding!

A good place to start to find out more about social investment is the Good Finance website:

Don’t be put off by the fear of having to repay a loan when you first start exploring social enterprise and investment. Going on the investment readiness and social investment journey is beneficial in that it will help you to think about the direction your organisation will take and where income will be generated and it will help you to develop a business mind-set. The journey is just as important as the end goal. You are not obliged to take out a loan when developing social enterprise business models but it is likely that you will need it if you are successful!


The Reach Fund

The Reach Fund is a grant programme that helps charities and social enterprises to get investment ready and raise investment. The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. It offers grants of up to £15k to pay for support to get investment ready – in areas such as governance, financial modelling, and business planning. It can also be used to pay for backfill so that managers can spend more time on business planning. Organisations need to have a good investment proposition before applying and need to approach a social investor in order to be referred onto the programme.

See here for NCVO’s Know How website that has a summary of what it means to be investment ready:

More information on the Reach Fund can be found here:


Spotlight on the Architectural Heritage Fund

Are there any local buildings in your area that are of historic or architectural importance that may be of value to the local community? This fund helps organisations to acquire, reuse or redevelop local buildings to develop sustainable heritage at the heart of local economies. This fund has a whole package of good support and funding including a grant funding pot to develop viable projects, tailored investment and expert business support advice and mentoring for charities, social enterprises and community business.

See here for inspirational case studies:

And for more information on the fund, see here


Social enterprise news

Sign up to Pioneers Post – it brings the latest thinking and developments in social enterprise and investment. See here for some decent podcasts:



Enterprise development

Check out the Key Fund’s Enterprise Toolbox for lots of resources, tools and templates to help with the business side of your organisation.


Risk management

Stay ahead of the game. Identify and track your risks to help you to secure finance, get out of crises and meet your future goals with certainty. See this great article for more:



If you need support to review your project or business plan, identify new business opportunities, develop a trading plan and proposition then please get in touch. There’s lots of support available and we can help you to navigate and access the right pathway.

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