Growth Fund eligibility criteria

Could you be eligible to receive funds from the Growth Fund?

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Are you eligible to receive funds from the Growth Fund?

The Growth Fund aims to support social investors meeting the funding needs of charities and social enterprises which are:

  • operating in England
  • seeking finance of up to £150,000
  • seeking unsecured funding

Charities and social enterprises could use this finance in any number of ways, for example;

  • growth funding
  • developing a new income stream
  • at ‘post social incubator’ stage, with little track record but who have already been identified as having potential and have been supported in their development to date

Even though the Growth Fund includes grant, it is structured as investment, not as a replacement for revenue. The Good Finance website might be helpful for charities and social enterprises to consider the funding options available.

Eligible charities and social enterprises can be regulated or unregulated.

Regulated organisations are charities, Community Interest Companies or Community Benefit Societies which pursue charitable objective(s).

Unregulated social sector organisations (such as CLGs, CLSs and IPSs) may be eligible, if the business fulfils the following criteria: 

Mission lock and activities

  • has a clear social mission which meets a charitable objective that addresses a social issue or need
  • carries out trading activities in support of and which are causally linked to its social mission
  • in the case of a sale of the enterprise, the directors make best efforts to preserve the social mission under new ownership.

Profit distribution and asset lock

  • distributes less than 50% of post tax profits
  • mainly reinvests surpluses into pursuing their social mission
  • has a constitutional or contractual lock on its Social Objects, dividend policy and an “asset-lock”.

Public benefit and private gain, use of public funds

  • offers its products and services for general public benefit without restrictions and barriers, such as affordability
  • can be established that private gain is incidental and minimal as a result of Access’s support.
  • no state aid issues identified (de Minimis may be used where appropriate)


  • articulates, evidences, measures and reports on its social impact and charitable purpose
  • is open to undertaking an independent social impact audit.
    • has remuneration and benefits policy which it is willing to make open, and which is reasonable and proportionate relative to the market practice for social sector organisations.

To view a full list of our established funds and find out where to go for more information please visit our Growth Fund investors page