Access has now committed the majority of Growth Fund funds to social investors and we expect to close to further expressions of interest (EOIs) at the end of this year. However we still very much want to hear from potential social investors before this date – if you are considering applying to run a Growth Fund please contact us or submit an EOI as soon as possible.
Please read the Expression of Interest guidance before completing an EOI.
* A social lender is an organisation which provides investment or lending to organisations for the purpose of creating social outcomes.
** VCSEs, (Voluntary community and social enterprises) are independent organisations not including local government or other statutory authorities, which are established for charitable purposes that add value to the community as a whole, or a significant section of the community and which are not established primarily to distribute a profit.
*** See below for eligibility criteria
Eligibility Criteria for social investors
An organisation needs to meet the following four criteria in order to be eligible:
- Operates in England
- Has legal authority or powers to manage grant funding
- Intends to make unsecured loans/ investments of less than £150k to eligible charities/ social enterprises (see criteria below) using a blend of grant and loan financing.
- Is a social investor or a partnership of organisations which together can fulfil the role of a social investor.
Eligibility Criteria for charities and social enterprises
For more detailed application guidance please download The Growth Fund Guidance.
Eligible charities and social enterprises can be regulated or unregulated, as described below.
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:
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.