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Social Enterprises

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what sources of publicly-funded financial support are available for new social enterprises. (76726)

I have been asked to reply.

There are many sources of publicly-funded financial support available to new social enterprises.

The Futurebuilders Fund exists to develop the capacity of the voluntary and community sector, including social enterprises, to deliver public services in England.

There is also the Adventure Capital Fund which aims to strengthen local communities by investing in organisations that work in, and for, those communities, helping them to thrive through enterprise.

Other sources include Unlimited (Unltd), funded through a Millennium Award endowment, with the objective of supporting and developing the role of social entrepreneurs as a force for positive change in the UK. The Big Lottery Fund is also open to applications from social enterprises.

Some Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) are another source of finance, providing loans at commercial rates to social enterprises. There may also be additional regional or local funds available. The local Business Link would be best placed to advise on what support exists locally.