Access offers £6m more through its enterprise development programme


Access, the Foundation for Social Investment, has expanded its enterprise development programme with a further £6m of support, including grant funding.

The programme, which works to support enterprise models in charities and social enterprises, will now work with mental health and equality organisations, in addition to those in the youth and homelessness sectors involved in a pilot programme last year.

There will be £2m available to each sector, although £1m has already been allocated in the two areas involved in the pilot programme, meaning a total of £6m of additional funding is now available.

Each sector included in the programme will be supported for three years.

The enterprise support available to successful applicants could take many forms, a spokeswoman said, but about three-quarters of the money will be used as grants.

The type of support available for applicants will be tailored to each charity or social enterprise’s situation, and could include peer-learning opportunities, training, direct advice and support, as well as grant funding.

Access is funding and managing the programme, with Social Investment Business providing strategic grant management support.

The programme is working with one organisation in each of the four sectors included in the scheme: Homeless Link; the Centre for Youth Impact; Equally Ours; and the Association of Mental Health Providers.

About 140 organisations have been supported to date through the programme.

Neil Berry, director of programmes at Access, said: “We have learned a lot from the pilot year of EDP. The sector-based approach works in making enterprise-based solutions more relevant to more organisations that haven’t been able to consider it before.

“We have also learned that organisations benefit most when their support packages are based on their specific needs. Going forwards, the EDP will be able to better tailor support for each organisation on the programme.”

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