Big Potential LogoBig Potential

What is the fund?

Big Potential, a Big Lottery Fund grant fund, is delivering approximately £20m of grant funding over 3 years to charities and social enterprises with the aim of improving their sustainability, capacity and scale and enabling them to deliver greater social impact.

The programme aims to raise awareness of the social investment market and support charities and social enterprises who want to prepare themselves for social investment or winning contracts.

Who is it for?

Charities and social enterprises based in England who are relatively new to the idea of social investment and want to see how it can be used.

What can I apply for?

Investment readiness grants between £20,000 - £150,000 which will allow you to work with the programme’s approved providers who will work closely with you to help identify and solve your business needs.

If you have the ambition to raise up to £500,000 of repayable investment you can apply for the Breakthrough route. The final deadline for submitting Breakthrough applications is midday on Friday 15 September.

Big Potential Advanced has now closed for applications. If you wanted to raise over £500,000 of repayable investment and/or win a contract of above £1million you could apply for the Advanced route. The final deadline for submitting Advanced applications was midday on Wednesday 9 August

Please be of the final deadlines for submitting your application.

"The Big Potential-funded community share venture has proved a great way to support the development of our smallholdings.

The share offer provided a practical and accessible way for a wide range of people to get involved with our work, and to support the development of small-scale ecological agriculture in England”.

Cate Chapman, Managing Director, Ecological Land Co-operative

Read their story here

Am I eligible?

The programme is open to charities and social enterprises that…

  • have the ambition and potential to raise up to £500,000 (repayable) investment (Breakthrough),
  • have ambition and potential to raise over £500,000 (repayable) investment and or win a contract over £1million (Advanced) - **The Advanced route has now closed for applications**
  • are able to describe a potential deal (investment or contracts) and need help to close it (Advanced) - **The Advanced route has now closed for applications**
  • operate and be based in England
  • have a track record of delivering social impact.
  • have the potential to generate financial and social returns for investors
  • have the ability to meet your core costs during the lifetime of the grant.have no religious or political purposes.

You can check to see if your organisation is suitable for Big Potential programme by registering on the Big Potential website and completing the diagnostic tool.

How do I apply?

The closing date for Big Potential Breakthrough applications is midday on Friday 15 September. However, please be aware that if you have not already registered and submitted your diagnostic report you will not be able to apply for a Big Potential Breakthrough grant.

Big Potential Advanced has now closed and we are no longer accepting applications.

Big Potential website



The Social Investment Business is the trading name for the Social Investment Business Foundation, Registered Company No. 05777484 (England), Registered Charity No 1117185 (England & Wales), The Social Investment Business Limited, Registered in England No. 06490609, VAT No. 927456693 and Futurebuilders-England Limited, Registered in England No. 05066676. Registered Office: CAN Mezzanine, Borough, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR

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