The Big Lottery Fund today launched the £10m Big Potential Advanced Fund. The new ‘Advanced’ route is an extension to Big Lottery Fund’s existing investment readiness programme; Big Potential. It will be supporting organisations at a more advanced stage in their social investment journey, looking to raise larger investments of over £500,000 as well as win contracts over £1m. The new advanced route of Big Potential will be available to those that are clear about how social investment could work for them and can describe a potential deal or interest from investors and need help to close that deal. Grants of up to £150,000 will be available.
Big Potential now has a total of £20m available to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations looking to get investment ready and explore new ways to finance the delivery of services which increase social impact and support those most in need. The original £10m fund will continue, offering in-depth support and grants to VCSEs looking to raise smaller amounts of repayable investment of up to £500,000 that are at an earlier stage in their social investment journey with a realistic investment proposition that can fund their growth and development but yet to determine what type of investment or deal will be appropriate. This existing support will now be delivered through the Breakthrough route of the programme which includes preliminary and investment plan grants up to £75,000.
Geeta Gopalan, Vice Chair of the England Committee at Big Lottery Fund:
In these challenging times for the sector we believe that this increased investment will help even more VCSE organisations to access social investment, enabling them to grow their trading activity and hopefully become more sustainable. We are committed to ensuring that VCSE’s are able to get the right support at the right time, and so the enhanced Big Potential programme is a very important piece of the wider investment readiness offer, that will complement a number of other programmes.”
Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Social Investment Business said: “Our unique experience in managing investment and contract readiness programmes such as Big Potential has shown us that they have the capacity to transform how VCSEs approach investment and/or contract opportunities; dramatically improving their chances of being successful.
Big Lottery Fund have shown that they are committed to this approach to funding VCSEs looking to raise investment and/or win contracts by providing £10million of additional funding for the Social Investment Business to manage. We expect to continue to see VCSEs scale up their operation through this funding model; enabling them to significantly grow their impact on their communities and beneficiaries.”
Big Potential is administered by the Social Investment Business in partnership with Locality, Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK and University of Northampton, on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.
The Social Investment Business is one of the UK’s leading social investors and has invested over £340 million in charities and social enterprises since 2002.
Information on how to apply to Big Potential is available at bigpotential.org.uk.