Press releases

Applications open for funding and support for local social businesses in Sussex.

Graham Precey - Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility
Graham Precey
Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility

12 March 2014

Graham Precey - Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility
Graham Precey
Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility

Local social enterprises in Sussex have the opportunity to apply for a package aimed at transforming their business as well as supporting the local community from this week.

Successful applicants will be offered an interest free loan of between £10,000 and £30,000, mentoring and access to a bank of experts. Businesses interested in more details and how to apply can find out more on the Social Enterprise Assist, (SE-Assist) website at http://se-assist.co.uk. The closing date for applications is 10th April 2014.

The initiative, delivered through Social Enterprise Assist, (SE-Assist), is a pioneering government-backed scheme that connects local social enterprises with larger companies in the area to help them and as a result inject prosperity into local communities. Leading insurer and local employer Legal & General who has a office in Hove, Charities Aid Foundation, (CAF) and the Coast2Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, have provided total funding of £150,000 to help local social businesses get off the ground, thrive and drive regeneration in Sussex.

Local social enterprises in Sussex that benefited from the pilot scheme last year included an ethical supermarket, a creative writing group, a parent support group and a community IT consultancy. The support offered to the ethical supermarket hiSbe enabled them to open their doors in Brighton last year after receiving a loan and expert consultancy.

The scheme is also rolling-out in Croydon and SE-Assist currently has a total of £330,000 in funding to offer local social business across the Sussex and Croydon areas. The aim is to expand the scheme and raise more funding with the support of larger businesses across the UK.

Amy Clarke, Head of Advisory at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled to be rolling-out the scheme today in Sussex and Croydon to support local social businesses. Social enterprises can make a huge difference to people in the community.

“There is a great spirit of innovation visible at the moment, but forward-thinking entrepreneurs are struggling to find the funding and the support they need to enable them to get their ideas off the ground. It’s great that we are able to provide local businesses in Sussex with an additional source of valued support again this year, thanks to the help of Legal & General and C2C.

“It would be great to see these kinds of partnerships between big companies and social enterprises become commonplace, so more local communities can enjoy the benefits that thriving local social businesses can bring.”

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Legal & General said: “We are so pleased to be supporting the SE-Assist scheme in Sussex again this year. We had no hesitation in being involved and offering further investment and ‘hands on’ support after such a successful pilot last year.

Graham Precey continued: “The employees based in our Hove office who were involved with the scheme last year, understand just how fantastic it is when the vision of a local business becomes a reality, with their help and our financial support. There is such a sense of achievement and pride working so closley with local businesses who in turn provide great benefits to the community. It will be great to see more local businesses have this exciting opportunity.”

For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Emily Gorton, egorton@cafonline.org, 03000123212/ 07814305808

Sally Yarrow, syarrow@cafonline.org, 03000123275

Charities Aid Foundation Press Office, media@cafonline.org, 03000123286

Or Berni Ryan, PR Manager, Legal & General, berni.ryan@landg.com, 07788 926790

Notes to editors

Social Enterprise Assist: SE-Assist is an innovative scheme to support social enterprises that are anchored in communities, contributing to local economic regeneration. The scheme is funded and delivered through a partnership between Legal & General, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Croydon Council and the Coast To Capital Local Economic Partnership (C2C LEP).

Currently £130,000 has been contributed by leading insurer, Legal & General and £200,000 by the Coast to Capital (C2C) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Any local large businesses interested in being involved with funding or support for the SE-Assist scheme should visit https://se-assist.co.uk/se-assistance/.

Social enterprises are a key element of the future economy. SE-Assist delivers support to social enterprises that have clear opportunities for success but require additional support that is not available elsewhere. SE-Assist provides a blended package of support for social enterprises in Sussex and Croydon, which will include interest free loans, mentoring and access to expert business advice.

Social Enterprises:

A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose, rather than to maximise profits for external shareholders.

  • It will have a 'social mission' so it will be clear about what difference it is trying to make, who it wants to help and how it will to do it.
  • It will bring in most or all of its income through selling goods or services and it will reinvest its profits to further the 'social mission'
  • Social enterprises range from large national and international businesses to small community based enterprises.

Well documented examples of social enterprises include the Eden Project in Cornwall; Jamie Oliver's Fifteen; Netmums; Divine chocolate, The Big Issue. For case studies of social enterprises previously supported by the SE Assist scheme in Brighton visit https://se-assist.co.uk/index.php/profiles/

Legal & General: We know that financial services organisations have to show and understand their economic impact, social value and environmental efficiency. As a soci

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