Enterprise GrantsEnterprise Development Programme

What is the Fund?

Enterprise Grants will support charities and social enterprises in England working in either the homelessness or youth sector to develop or grow their enterprising activity, earned income and financial resilience. 

They are available through the Enterprise Development Programme, a five year, £40m programme funded by Access - The Foundation for Social Investment and managed by a coalition of partners.

Who is it for?

Organisations that are thinking of exploring new models of trading to help them become more financially resilient and require financial or business support to make the transition. There may also be an ultimate aim of taking on social investment in the future. 

Initially the programme will be aimed at organisations that are;

  • Charities or social enterprises*
  • Based and working in England
  • Are operating in the Homelessness and Youth Services sectors, and where the majority of beneficiaries of the organisation are either homeless or young people.
  • Have a desire to generate income through enterprise
  • Can demonstrate that the enterprise would help achieve social impact, and
  • Have a successful track record of working with homeless or young people**

Whatever the type of trading you want to undertake, it must be clear that you have thought about how it will help you to become more financially resilient and how it will help to maintain/increase the social impact you have with either homeless or young people. 

There is no requirement for organisations to be a particular legal form in order to apply.  However to be an eligible social enterprise, organisations need to:

  • Have a clear social mission
  • Distribute less then than 50% of post-tax profits and reinvest at least 51% of surpluses into pursuing their social mission, and
  • Have a constitutional or contractual lock on their social mission, dividend and surplus distribution policy (also known as an asset lock).

** Can I apply for a grant if my organisation is just starting up, or has only recently begun providing services?

Enterprise Grants are aimed are organisations who already have a track record of working with homeless or young people.  If you have only recently begun operating, but the individuals within your organisation have a track record of working with either homeless or young people we will take this into consideration.  If you have no experience of working with either homeless or young people, it is unlikely we would be able to provide you with a grant.

What can I apply for?

Feasibility Grants

Between £5,000 - 10,000 to enable organisations to investigate and develop an enterprise proposition from an early stage into a proposed delivery plan. These grants will help you to establish whether your idea is realistic, and whether it is practical for you to develop it further.

Development Grants

More substantial grants of around £50,000 are available for organisations that have established that their enterprise proposition is achievable, but require further development or scaling for it to become a reality. There may also be a requirement for further long-term investment.

Organisations that apply for either Enterprise Grant can also apply to Enterprise Learning.

The Enterprise Grants pilot has a budget of £1.8m and is expecting to make around 100 grants during the pilot phase, with the majority of these being Feasibility Grants; the budget will be split equally between the homelessness and youth sectors.

How do I apply?

The first stage of the application process is to complete the online expression of interest form via the button below. It is important that you read the Programme Guidance in the attachment below before you start your application.


The grants programme will be open on a rolling basis and we expect that we will continue to be open for applications until June 2019 but the exact date will depend on levels of demand for grants. We will update the guidance notes when we have set a final application date and will aim to give as much notice of this as possible.

Where else can I get support?

If you are working in homelessness or youth but think you aren’t yet ready to apply for a grant you can contact either Homeless Link, UK Youth, or The Centre for Youth Impact for further support.

If you aren’t working in homelessness or youth, the websites below may be able to help you find out about other support you might be eligible for;

Back to the Enterprise Development Programme or just Enterprise Learning.

If you have a question about the application process or would like to discuss the fund in more detail, please contact our investment team: enterprisegrants@sibgroup.org.uk or 020 3096 7900.


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