The deadline to apply for funding from social investment readiness fund, Big Potential Breakthrough, has been extended to the end of the year because charities have requested smaller amounts than expected.
The Big Lottery Fund-backed programme launched as a three-year initiative in 2014 and was due to close in April but has been extended to the end of 2017. A spokesman for Social Investment Business (SIB), which manages the fund, told Civil Society News the grants requested by charities had been lower than expected, leaving the fund with additional money to extend its lifespan.
Of the £10m available for charities, just £6m has been awarded so far, the spokesman said. Some 430 application have been made to the fund – 212 of which were successful.
Fund for first-time users of social investment
Chief executive of SIB, Jonathan Jenkins said he was “delighted” that more charities and social enterprises will be able to apply for the funding.
“We have already seen how Big Potential has helped organisations improve their sustainability, capacity and scale and we are looking forward to seeing even more access this vital support in 2017,” he said.
The fund is aimed at charities looking at taking on social investment for the first time with the ambition to raise up to £500,000 of repayable investment.
Since the fund opened, more than 800 organisations have used the supporting diagnostic tool, aimed at helping organisations understand their investment needs, with over 600 opting to take part in one-to-one sessions.
Applications to the Big Potential Breakthrough fund can be made through www.bigpotential.org.uk.
Last year Civil Society reported that the Cabinet Office-backed £20m Social Outcomes Funds and the £40m Big Lottery-backed Commissioning Better Outcomes fund had been slow to award funding, giving just £16m worth of grants to six organisations.