This document from the Department for Health describes how the Social Enterprise Investment Fund will support the development of social enterprises and help them to be innovative in delivering health and social care. The Fund is managed from June 2009 for the Department for Health by Futurebuilders, working in partnership with Partnerships UK.
The fund provides advice as well as seed funding for social enterprises that are starting up. It also offers development loans for established businesses delivering health and social care services. The funding offered ranges from research and development costs, through to payment of salaries and to the purchase of equipment and buildings.
Loans can be used for property, development capital, working capital, bridging finance, until business income starts to flow, to support a merger or to tender for a public service contract. Grants can be used to support a new project being set up, for start-up costs, staff costs or other transitional costs. They can also be used for the cost of buildings, vehicles or equipment.
Social enterprises are business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally invested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. There are more than 55,000 social enterprises in the UK, with an annual turnover exceeding £27 billion.
Funded organisations include charities, community interest groups, and companies limited by guarantee.
Social Enterprise Fund document is available from DfH. www.dh.gov.uk/seif