How to access the Reach Fund:
The programme is managed by Social Investment Business (SIB) and has a dedicated site here which explains how the Fund is structured and how the application process works:
Aims of the programme:
This programme aims to increase the number of charities and social enterprises who are:
- able to take on a loan, and
- are better informed about how social investment is relevant for them.
How The Reach Fund works:
SIB have begun appointing a range of social investors who are the ‘Access Points’ for the Reach Fund. They support organisations to apply for investment readiness grant funding.
When a charity or social enterprise approaches one of these Access Points for a loan, and where that organisations needs some support before they could take on the loan, the social investor will work with them to identify their needs, develop an investment readiness plan, apply for a grant, and, where required, direct them to support organisations who can help deliver their plan. The Access Point social investor may also help connect them to other charities and social enterprises seeking to take on a loan, as a source of peer support.
If successful in their grant application, the charity or social enterprises will use this funding to deliver their investment readiness plan. Once completed, they will discuss again their borrowing options with the social investor, who should then have more confidence about lending to them.
To provide a consistent way to measure the progress made by organisations, each charity and social enterprise completes a standard online diagnostic questionnaire, at the beginning and end of this process.
The below diagram helps to explain how the Reach Fund operates:
Accessing the Reach Fund for ‘Access Point’ social investors
In May 2016 Access completed an initial expression of interest exercise for social investors who were interested in becoming Access Points. This application process will continue during the life of the fund and more details are available here: http://www.reachfund.org.uk/become-access-point