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15 March 2024

Empowering Change: Celebrating 2 years of the Flexible Finance Fund


Hanna Latif-Walmsley
Partnerships Manager at Social Investment Business

2 years of Flexible Finance Fund

We’re coming up to the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Flexible Finance Fund, so we thought we’d look back at why it was created, who it’s for and what fantastic work it’s done so far, so take a walk down memory lane with us.  

The fund itself was created in collaboration with our good friends at Access – the Foundation for Social Investment (cheers Access!) and is aimed at black and racially minoritised-led organisations who are looking into social investment. Access – the Foundation for Social Investment designated us 2 million pounds to create an impactful grant product to sit alongside our existing Recovery Loan Fund. The product is aimed at supporting black and racially minoritised-led companies in accessing social investment by providing them with an unrestricted grant product for them to use… for almost anything! Creating a new project, staff retention or an all-expenses paid staff holiday. (Scratch that last part, I’ve been told that doesn’t cut it!)

The fund was created because we saw a significant gap in the market and noticed a continuous pattern of a high number of black and racially minoritised-led organisations missing out on investment opportunities to larger, mainstream organisations. Only 3.6% of successful applicants to the Recovery Loan Fund, were from black and racially minoritised-led organisations, a worryingly low statistic.  We identified several barriers in accessing products and created the grant to support these companies in accessing social investment.

We decided to partner with two sector specialists; Create Equity and the Ubele Initiative, who are both known for their pioneering work in supporting underrepresented groups within the sector. These amazing organisations now source and support applicants from around the UK every step of the way for their Flexible Finance journey.  

In the last two years we have seen a huge leap from 4% of all successful applicants to the Recovery Loan Fund to 25%, thanks to the addition of the Flexible Finance grant and the support of our partners. From lively London to sunny Sunderland (I know it’s not always sunny, but it’s alliteration!) the Flexible Finance Fund has been able to support marginalised groups and level the playing field for the better.

If you want to read about a few of the Flexible Finance success stories click here.

If you’d like to find out more about the eligibility criteria and apply for the Flexible Finance Fund, visit our dedicated fund page here.