COVID-19 related emergency support

Information about emergency finance that was provided in the first year of the pandemic (programme now closed)

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In May 2020 Access – The Foundation for Social Investment received £30m of new funds from dormant accounts to support the development of new blended finance models for social investment providers to make available to charities and social enterprises impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Most of these funds have been utilised for a longer term Flexible Finance for the Recovery blended finance programme, but up to £10m was made available to be used to support immediate short-term emergency borrowing needs.

In the end a total of £6m of grant subsidy was distributed to five social investors to support their own emergency lending programmes.  Most of this subsidy was provided directly to frontline charities and social enterprises as grant alongside the loans they were receiving, to ensure that their debt burden was appropriate and affordable at a time of great uncertainty and damage to income streams. 

Eligible loans (and grants) were awarded between July 2020 and June 2021 by the five social investors participating in this programme: Social Investment Business via the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF); GMCVONorthstar VenturesResonance and CAF Venturesome.

70 charities and social enterprises were supported through the scheme, between them receiving a total of just over £21m in combined loans and grants.

Access is a wholesaler of grant subsidy into social investment funds and other initiatives. Therefore we do not make funding available to charities and social enterprises directly. If you are a charity or social enterprise looking for support or to find out more about social investment please visit Good Finance.

An evaluation was carried out into the Emergency Lending programme in 2022. Its findings are presented in this summary overview and in a full report.