Big Potential expands support and grants to VCSEs looking to raise social investment

13 July 2015

The Big Lottery Fund today launched the £10m Big Potential Advanced Fund. The new ‘Advanced’ route is an extension to Big Lottery Fund’s existing investment readiness programme; Big Potential.

It will be supporting organisations at a more advanced stage in their social investment journey, looking to raise larger investments of over £500,000 as well as win contracts over £1m. The new advanced route of Big Potential will be available to those that are clear about how social investment could work for them and can describe a potential deal or interest from investors and need help to close that deal. Grants of up to £150,000 will be available.

“Big Potential is about giving the VCSE sector the best chance possible to access and take on social investment so they can deliver greater positive change. I am delighted that, through £10 million of additional funding, organisations looking to raise bigger amounts or bid for large contracts can now receive the support they need to maximise their impact in the communities they serve.”

Geeta Gopalan, Vice Chair of the England Committee, Big Lottery Fund

Big Potential now has a total of £20m available to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations looking to get investment ready and explore new ways to finance the delivery of services which increase social impact and support those most in need. The original £10m fund will continue, offering in-depth support and grants to VCSEs looking to raise smaller amounts of repayable investment of up to £500,000 that are at an earlier stage in their social investment journey with a realistic investment proposition that can fund their growth and development but yet to determine what type of investment or deal will be appropriate. This existing support will now be delivered through the Breakthrough route of the programme which includes preliminary and investment plan grants up to £75,000.

“Our unique experience in managing investment and contract readiness programmes such as Big Potential has shown us that they have the capacity to transform how VCSEs approach investment and/or contract opportunities; dramatically improving their chances of being successful.

Big Lottery Fund have shown that they are committed to this approach to funding VCSEs looking to raise investment and/or win contracts by providing £10million of additional funding for the Social Investment Business to manage. We expect to continue to see VCSEs scale up their operation through this funding model; enabling them to significantly grow their impact on their communities and beneficiaries.”

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive, Social Investment Business

Big Potential is administered by the Social Investment Business in partnership with Locality, Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK and University of Northampton, on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.

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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, Futurebuilders-England Limited, Registered in England No. 05066676 and Forward Enterprise FM Ltd, Registered in England No.11238102. Registered Office: CAN Mezzanine, Borough, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.

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