Recovery Loan Fund


The Recovery Loan Fund


1) What is the fund?

The Recovery Loan Fund provides loans to UK charities and social enterprises who have been impacted by Covid 19 and need funds to help them to survive, recover and grow. It has been established by Social Investment Business (SIB) to make an existing Government guarantee scheme, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS – further information below), more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises.

The Fund also provides unrestricted grants (alongside the loan) and support to ** Black and Minoritised Ethnicity -led charities and social enterprises that meet the grant criteria. 

The Fund will lend to organisations that are improving people’s lives, or the environment they live in, across the UK. All funding purposes will be considered including refinancing of existing debt onto more patient terms.

The Fund is being run by Social Investment Business with initial investment from SIB and the Fusion21 Foundation - the charity parent and social investor of social enterprise and public sector procurement provider Fusion21. In January 2022, The Archbishop’s Council, Big Society Capital, MFS Investment Management, and Treebeard Trust were announced as further investors in the Recovery Loan Fund, taking funds raised to date to £21.5m (including follow-on commitments). Access - The Foundation for Social Investment are providing the grant funding.

In addition, SIB will work with experienced social investor partners to deliver the fund: Big Issue Invest, CAF Venturesome Charity Bank, Key Fund, Resonance, Social Investment Scotland and  Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and Black and Minoritised Enthicity partners The Ubele Initiative and Create Equity to deliver the fund.

Update: we have now extend the application deadline for the fund until 11.59pm on Friday 20th May 2022. Applications will reviewed on a first come, first served basis.

Eligible organisation can apply for loans of £100k-£1.5m.

View the Recovery Loan Fund application dashboard.

See below for more information on eligibility, loan terms and application process.

2) Is my organisation eligible?​

  • Type of organisation: Your organisation must be an eligible charity or social enterprise (see Eligible Entities below).
  • *UK-based: Your organisation must be registered and based in the UK, and deliver its services and impact in the UK.
  • Length of existence: Your organisation will need to have been actively operating for at least 2 years.
  • Turnover limit: Your organisation must have a minimum turnover of £400k in its last financial year (or £200k if the organisations is **Black and Minoritised Ethnicity-led, or based in Scotland or Wales).
  • Trading income: Your organisation (or group, if applicable) will need to generate at least 50% of its turnover from trading activity. Registered charities and further education colleges are exempt from this eligibility criteria.
  • Social Impact: Your organisation (or group, if applicable) will need to be improving people’s lives or the environment they live in.
  • Covid-19 impact: You will need to confirm to us that your organisation has been impacted by Covid-19.
  • Solvent: You will need to confirm to us that your organisation (or group, if applicable) is not subject to any insolvency proceedings e.g. winding-up, administration, insolvency, bankruptcy.
  • Ineligible sectors: A loan cannot be used to support the following sectors:
    • Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (excluding Insurance Brokers)
    • Public sector bodies.
    • State funded primary and secondary schools.
  • Viability test: During assessment, we will need to ensure that your organisation has a viable business proposition.
  • Credit and fraud checks: During assessment and before we disburse a loan we will undertake a range of credit and fraud checks.

Criteria for grant funding alongside the loan

  • Black and Minoritised ethnicity -led: 51% or above of the organisation’s board and senior management team are from Black and Minoritised ethnicity backgrounds.
  • No previous repayable finance: Your organisation has never received repayable finance of greater than £25k. This excludes Bounce Back Loans.

* Organisations based in Northern Ireland will be referred to Community Finance Ireland.

**We reognise that there is an ongoing debate over how helpful the term Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) is to describe the multitude of different ethnic communities and cultural groups within the UK. Our usuage here reflects terminology used at the time in data collection, and to help standardisation for comparison to external data sources. It is not intended to reflect personal or community identity. 

Further detail on eligibility criteria and the specific application form questions can be found in the Application Form Questions & Guidance (available to download at the bottom of the Fund page under ‘Attached Files’). 

3) What can I apply for?


Term Loan


  • Minimum of £100,000 to a maximum of £1.5 million
  • **BAME-led organisations and those based in Wales and Scotland will be able to apply for loans upwards of £50,000


A minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 6 years


Any, including refinancing of existing debt

To consider refinancing of existing debt, the organisation must meet both
of the following parameters in their most recent quarterly management information:
(i) Balance sheet: Positive net current assets
(ii) Profit and loss/income statement: Break-even or profitable/surplus in the last quarter

Interest: A fixed interest fee of 7.9% per year
Capital repayment holiday for up to 12 months on all loans
All loans in monthly repayments in equal sized instalments

Arrangement fee:

2.5% on loans of £500k or greater
3% on loans <£500k


Full amount drawn down on signing
No redrawing of repaid amounts


Permitted at any time without penalty


All loans of up to and including £250k will be provided unsecured.

For loans of over £250k, security will be taken in the form of a standard fixed and floating charge, where readily available with exceptions made only in exceptional circumstances.


Unrestricted Grant


£25,00-£200,00 (ranges from 50% to 100% of the loan amount).


Disbursed as single payment alongside the loan.

4) Who are Eligible Entities?

Eligible charities and enterprises are those who:

  • Exist for the benefit of society/ environment.
  • Are incorporated and based in the UK, and deliver the majority of their services and social impact in the UK.
  • Are one of the following legal forms:
    • Charitable incorporated organisation registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and/or the Charity Commissioner for Northern Ireland.
    • Company limited by guarantee registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Regulator and/or Charity Commissioner for Northern Ireland.
    • Community interest company limited by guarantee.
    • Community interest company limited by shares.
    • A registered society (for community benefit) under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
    • Community benefit society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
  • If the organisation isn’t one of the above legal forms e.g. Company Limited by Guarantee without Charity status or Company Limited by Shares, it must have a social object, asset lock and restriction on the distribution of profits written into its governing documents at the point of application.

5) What is the Recovery Loan Scheme?

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) launched on 6 April 2021 and supports access to finance for UK businesses as they recover and grow following the Covid-19 pandemic.

RLS aims to help businesses affected by Covid-19 and can be used for business purposes, including, managing cashflow, investment and growth. It is designed to support businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes. A key aim of the Recovery Loan Scheme is to improve the terms on offer to businesses, but if SIB can offer a business the choice of a commercial loan on better terms, without requiring the guarantee provided by the RLS, we will do so. Businesses who have taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) are able to access the new scheme.

Guarantee to the Lender: The scheme provides the lender i.e. SIB with a government-backed guarantee in case a borrower is unable to repay their loan.  The guarantee is provided to SIB and not the borrower, and the provision of the guarantee does not remove any of the borrower’s liability for repaying their loan. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. 

6) Application Process

6) Recovery Loan Fund Dashboard

A dashboard of the Recovery Loan Fund applicants is below - including pipeline and demographic information

If at any point during the process your application is unsuccessful we will do our best to provide feedback and signpost you onto other sources of support.

You can find further information on the Application Process at the bottom of this page under ‘Attached Files’.

If you have any other questions that aren't answered in any of the above, please contact our Investments Team:

Banner photo by Thousand Word Media from the Gloucester Gateway Trust.


Business Finance Support

The British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing your cashflow and a list of independent advice services.

Legal Notice

The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit

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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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