The Forward Enterprise Fund is £2m social investment fund that supports individuals, charities and social enterprises run by, or creating employment opportunities for, ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction. The fund is a partnership between Social Investment Business and The Forward Trust backed by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital as part of their wider Growth Fund initiative.
This fund is aimed at individuals, charities and social enterprises that prioritise creating employment opportunities for people breaking the cycle of crime and addiction.
The Fund provides access to unsecured loans between £25k – £150k for revenue and / or capital projects (typical interest rate 7.5%) for up to a 5-year term.
Eligible organisations will also have access to grants to pay for up to 10 days of pre-investment business support. Organisations who receive investment will also be able to apply for post-investment business support.
Individuals or start-up enterprises with a bright idea can also access Crowdfunder support with match funding available from The Forward Trust. Eligible applicants will be:
- A business or organisation must be within England.
- A business or organisation working with or intending to work with ex-offenders or people in recovery from addiction, creating employment opportunities for people from these communities
- Led by ex-offenders or people in recovery from addiction.
Organisations wishing to raise start-up money via a campaign on Crowdfunder can also apply for match funding of up to £5,000.
The first stage is to complete an expression of interest form (which includes an eligibility check) on the Forward Enterprise Fund website.