National Lottery and partners announce £18.7m Social Enterprise Support Fund

This terrific news, just in…

The Social Enterprise Support Fund, a brand new £18.7m support fund for social enterprises, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has just opened and is taking applications now.

The Social Enterprise Support Fund is delivered by The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), UnLtd, Key Fund, Resonance and Big Issue Invest. It is taking applications from ventures aiding those at direct health risk from Covid-19, or those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. For example, supporting people through loneliness and isolation, or supporting BAME communities who experience health inequalities. Read the full eligibility criteria and FAQs here.

The Fund particularly encourages applications from enterprises led by those with direct lived experience of the social issues they are trying to solve.

The first round is now live and will close for new applications and submissions on Monday 20th July at the very latest, but may close earlier if the maximum applications for each round are reached. You are therefore strongly encourage to submit your application as early as possible.

There will be another opportunity to apply over the next three months, reopening in August.

Key eligibility criteria include the following but you should be sure to read the full details:

  • Your organisation must have been incorporated for at least one year to be eligible for this fund.
  • Your social enterprise must be incorporated.
  • It must have:
    • A clear social purpose.
    • A restriction on distribution of profits, to the extent that at least 51% of surpluses are reinvested for its social purpose.
    • An “asset lock” — there must be a clause in your constitution or articles which prevents assets, such as cash or buildings, from being distributed for private benefit when the organisation is wound up.
  • Your income EITHER in your last financial year OR the year up to 31st March 2020, must be between £25,000 and £1.5 million. This means all income, not just trading income.
  • Your social enterprise must have been financially stable before COVID-19 and specifically on December 31st 2019. 


Eligibility criteria and FAQs.

Full details & applications.



Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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