What we do

Our mission is to make sure charities and social enterprises can access the finance they need to sustain or grow their impact.

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Charities and social enterprises often struggle to access finance from mainstream lenders like banks. Social investment plays a vital role in ensuring these organisations have access to the capital they need to deliver long-lasting, tangible economic and social benefits in their communities.

We target those most in need of patient and flexible investment through:

  • Funding enterprise development and blended finance programmes in England.
  • Sharing knowledge and data and translating it into practical insight that others can use.
  • Mobilising others who share our goal of making capital work for communities.

Our programmes

Through our programmes, we develop the financial resilience of charities and social enterprises, while making sure more of our money flows to underserved places and communities. 

  • We work to enable the continued growth of blended finance, providing grants to social investment providers to blend with other forms of capital – this enables them to provide the kind of finance that most charities and social enterprises need.
  • We support the capacity and resilience of key partners, while nurturing partnerships that can grow and live independently of us.
  • We support six place-based partnerships via our Local Access programme creating strong local ecosystems that will enable the social economy the thrive and to build more diverse and resilient organisations that can deliver for their communities. 
  • We run programmes to support charities and social enterprises to increase and diversify their income through enterprise activity, and explore how social investment can help.
  • We promote a better understanding of revenue models in different sectors, highlighting the impact that enterprise grant-making and support can make.

For current operational data about all of our programmes, have a look at our latest quarterly dashboard.

Our advocacy

Having seen what our programmes have achieved, we recognise the huge impact blended finance and enterprise development could have if they are adopted more widely. Through advocacy, we now want to mobilise the social investment ecosystem, so it can direct its assets and efforts towards meeting the real needs of the sector – for the long term.

  • We make clear the ongoing need for subsidy focused on blended finance.
  • We support the development of the blended finance ecosystem, and the flow of capital into it.
  • We work with other asset owners to align their investing with their impact and mission.
  • With our partners, we will help build the movement of enterprise grant-making, while highlighting the vital role enterprise has to play in developing resilience. 

A small team sparking a big change 

Although we have significant resources available, we’re a small team. This means our success hinges on working with partners to accelerate change and build the social investment ecosystem the sector needs. 

A diagram showing Access as a small bubble next to other larger bubbles, marked 'Social Investors, Intermediaries, Charities and Social Enterprises and People and Communities

That’s why we take a network leadership approach.

Our key collaborators include:

  • Other funders and foundations
  • Sector networks and membership bodies
  • Specialist consultancy and advisory organisations
  • Social investors and intermediaries

If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please get in touch via email, or on Twitter.