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Catalysing community businesses with £200,000 in grants

In partnership with Northstar Ventures, the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland,  announces a grant opportunity to North East charities and community organisations alongside loans provided by the North East Social Investment Fund (NESIF).  

The fund will award approximately £200,000 in grant funding until December 2024 to lower the barriers community businesses face when accessing finance. By partnering together, our intention is to better support communities in the North East of England with a blended finance offer increasing the social outcomes in the region.  

Organisations will be assessed to receive grant funding alongside a new NESIF loan, with a maximum intervention of 25% grant on the first £150,000 of loan. 

The grants, when combined with the eligible organisation’s NESIF loan, can be used to benefit the organisation by: 

  • assisting to overcoming barriers when accessing finance for the organisation’s work; 
  • providing additional intervention during the lifetime of the investment, addressing opportunities or challenges facing the organisation; 
  • increasing the organisation’s intended social impact; 
  • funding resource lead-in or development periods, including the costs of investee organisational development work and professional advice; 
  • supporting the viability of innovative or higher-risk work. 

Grants will be restricted and are only to support activities related to one or more areas of social need which NESIF seeks to address: the reduction of homelessness, the reduction of debt and poverty, the improvement of health and social care needs, the improvement of mental health provision, the improvement of offender rehabilitation, the reduction of unemployment, and the regeneration of deprived communities. 

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, said:  

“We know that offering grants alongside repayable finance helps make the social investment market work better for organisations on the frontline. The Community Foundation is excited to be able to offer this grant funding alongside loan finance from Northstar Ventures to organisations in North East England. We hope it will result in more local organisations being able to take up the opportunity of social investment so they can do even more to benefit people and places in our area.” 

Naomi Allen Seales, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said:  

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to further support charities and social enterprises in the North East with grant funding alongside the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. This blended offering will benefit the amazing organisations we invest into by increasing accessibility of social investment and ultimately giving them a platform to grow their social impact, become more sustainable and benefit more people in the region.” 

You can find out more by visiting the Northstar Ventures website here: https://northstarventures.co.uk/funds/social-investment-fund/