Blended Finance: Our Approach

Combining loans with grants to bridge the finance gap.

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We use the term blended finance to refer to a combination grant funding and repayable finance. This may take a wide variety of forms, such as a loan fund which includes grant subsidy to allow the fund manager to make smaller loans and absorb more risk, or unsecured loans which are offered alongside a grant.

Since 2015 Access has been making investments through the pioneering Growth Fund. The Growth Fund is a blended finance programme which uses grant funds from the Big Lottery Fund and investment capital from Big Society Capital and makes that combination available to organisations who make loans to charities and social enterprises. The Growth Fund is now closed to new expressions of interest and will be fully committed by mid 2018. 

From 2018-23 Access’s work on blended finance focuses on three elements:

1. Actively supporting and managing the portfolio of social investors in the Growth Fund who are making loans to charities and social enterprises.

2. Seeking opportunities to supply more grant into blended finance models which help expand the reach of social investment, actively working with a range of partners.

3. Leading the case for blended finance and convening the discussions with other potential providers of subsidy around the value of the approach, based on our learning and that of others.

You can more information about the Growth Fund here.

For more details about our ongoing work on blended finance beyond the Growth Fund, visit this page.