News from Access – August 2023 – including updates on energy resilience

Updates from the Access team on all things social investment, blended finance and enterprise development.

This month at Access

Energy resilience – following the announcement earlier this year that charities and social enterprises will receive additional support from the Dormant Assets scheme to improve their energy resilience, we have now launched the window for social investors to express interest in our new energy efficiency fund.

Alongside this, we are also looking for partners to develop funds supporting social enterprises that can offer energy resilience services to the sector. We are also intending to provide grant funding for some market-building initiatives.

Read the blog from Daria Kuznetsova, who has been leading the development of this programme, to find out more about what we have learnt so far and emerging themes.

Thrive Together Fund – supported by Access through our Enterprise Growth for Communities Programme and backed by Dormant Assets, the new £6m Thrive Together Fund will provide finance to unlock the growth of small and medium-sized charities and social enterprises.  The fund combines grant funding with repayable finance and hopes to expand the reach of social investment to smaller organisations or those based in disadvantaged areas.

The Ballot box looms large – earlier this summer, we joined Social Enterprise UK and a range of stakeholders to discuss how British business could better serve our economy and society, focusing on an approach to business that champions social enterprises, co-operatives and other purpose-led businesses, as part of the new Business Plan for Britain campaign. 

Social Investment Stories 

We are chuffed to have worked with the Reclaim FundUnLtd and the brilliant Harry Specters on a cracking little video showing the impact of Dormant Assets.

Watch now to learn more about the incredible work Harry Specters does to provide employment for people with Autism and see Dormant Assets in action while you think about placing an order for their delicious chocolates!



Don’t miss this

We are hosting a short informal webinar on Thursday 31 August at 11 am to discuss the latest on the Community Enterprise Growth Plan and provide an opportunity to feed in views. E-mail for the joining details.

Later on, in September, we will be joining up with EIRIS Foundation and Friends Provident to explore how trustees and staff can utilise their endowments for mission and positive impact. This is a peer-to-peer event with charitable foundation trustees and staff sharing their experiences and insights with an emphasis on real-world examples and plenty of discussion. For programme info and to register for the 28 September event, find out more here. 

Locality’s Annual Convention brings together people who believe in the power of community. Join them in Bristol on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 7 November 2023.

What we’re reading and listening to

Third Sector’s great podcast on how funders can support the sector’s response to the climate emergency (including the importance of the Funder Commitment on Climate Change of which Access is a signatory). Also worth checking out is the new campaign from NCVO – Fuelling Positive Change.

This insightful article in Pioneer’s Post looks at three ways to tackle social investment’s diversity problem featuring Good Finance, Ubele Initiative and CAF Venturesome as they work to widen access to support and funding.

Did you know?

Our friends at Good Finance have launched an online module looking at legal structures and what they mean for taking on social investment. The next cohort launches in September. – find out more here.

EVPA Impact Week brings together the global investing for impact community. Find out more here. This year we’re co-delivering a workshop with our partner GMCVO to share the learnings from our place-based programme, Local Access, and to explore the work GMCVO have been doing on building a resilient place by focussing on building trust and relationships across the sector. We’ll share more after our return from EVPA week in November!