Social enterprise

Since 2013 we have made a commitment to help social enterprises.

Social Enterprise (SE) Assist is an award winning, pioneering social investment fund

Since 2013 we have made a commitment to help social enterprises. These organisations are seen as a vital force in driving the regeneration of communities, creating much needed job-opportunities and a vibrant, diverse and inclusive local economy.

The fund offers interest-free loans of up to £30,000 to help social organisations with cash flow to build long-term sustainability or development finance to help them grow. Working with our local delivery partners, we offer our investees access to a bank of experts and an experienced mentor who provides business experience and guidance.

Based on collaborative partnerships between business, the public sector, and community stakeholders, the investment decisions are made by a locally-based committee, ensuring support is responsive to needs in the community.

To date, 44 social investments have been offered - totalling over £1m - from three SE-Assist funds in Greater Brighton/Sussex, where the fund launched in 2013, growing to include Croydon in 2014 and Wales in 2016.

We work in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation Venturesome (CAF) and in Wales our local partners include the Welsh Government, the Wales Co-operative Centre, Business in the Community Wales and the Institute of Directors Wales.

Some of the social enterprises we have supported to date include:

HISBE an ethical supermarket in Brighton

ELITE SEA a trading charity supporting disabled and disadvantaged people into work in Wales

Brighton’s community pub, The Bevy

GT Scholars an in-school and after-school leadership programme for young people in Croydon

The Good Wash Company changing the world one wash at a time with ethical products created in Wales.

We recognise how challenging this year has been for many people and businesses, both large and small. In order to support our SE Assist businesses we put in place a holiday loan repayment plan to help reduce the pressure on them. This was put in place at the start of the pandemic for an initial 6 months and is constantly reviewed to ensure we continue to support their changing needs during this uncertain time.