Finance Innovation – the film

The Finance Innovation Lab have just launched a short film that nicely encapsulates their work, featuring the collaborative, facilitative and encouragement of change aspects of their work.

  • The Finance Innovation Lab seeks to help create alternative business models in the the finance sector.
  • It is a movement for advocacy, promoting financial sectoral change to key actors.
  • They also work to effect ‘change from within’, campaigning for the re-alignment of finance professions to a more equitable and fair model.

The Lab web site has an inciteful article, written by Angela Clements, founder of Fair For You. It shows the journey that a finance sector principal can be driven to follow, when the inequity of access to mainstream credit, for example, makes even more difficult the life of an economically disenfranchised family.

If you’re a full-on corporate banker, do watch the fim and explore the Finance Innovation Lab web pages. You might even turn a corner yourself!

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Investment Readiness – Summer Workshops

cropped-keyIcon.jpgKey Fund are holding a series of summer workshops for people and organisations looking to apply for  Social Investment.

Designed to broaden your understanding of the Social Investment arena and to make you prepared for the application processes involved, the workshops will take place in July and August 2016.

Venue: Key Fund Offices in Sheffield, see location here.

Tuesday 19th July 2016 – 10am – 1pm    Eventbrite Booking Page

Tuesday 16th August 2016 – 10am – 1pm    Eventbrite Booking Page

Tuesday 30th August 2016 – 10am – 1pm   Eventbrite Booking Page

‘These free sessions are open to social entrepreneurs and social enterprises looking to start up, grow or develop or purchase equipment or buildings for their social enterprise through loan finance.

The workshops will cover:

  • What is social investment?
  • Different types of borrowing
  • What is required in order to apply
  • Measuring social impact
  • Key Fund’s current funds and application process
  • Post award requirements and support’

Source: http://thekeyfund.co.uk/investment-readiness-social-investment/

If you have any questions/queries then please don’t hesitate to contact Cathryn Chrimes – cat.chrimes@thekeyfund.co.uk or call the Keyfund Team on 0845 140 1400


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New CEO for Key Fund

Key Fund, one of the North’s longest-standing investors in the community/social enterprise sector, has announced a new CEO. Matt Smith, previously Deputy CEO, with over 13 years’ experience with the organisation now takes over the helm.

Hugh Rolo, Chair of the Key Fund Board, said: “We are extremely pleased Matt has taken on the CEO role. Not only is he committed and passionate about the organisation, he has a long track-record at the Fund. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as the vision and drive to take Key Fund forward.

Matt Smith - CEO
Matt Smith – CEO, Key Fund

Matt Smith was seconded to the Big Lottery Fund in recent years, has extensive expertise in the Social Investment sector, and is a well-known, respected face in the community/social enterprise sector at large.

Key Fund has supported community/social enterprises for over 16 years, helping thousands of new start-ups and existing businesses to expand and grow. The first half of 2015-2016 saw unprecedented business, with more investment than in the whole of the previous year, itself a record breaker.

Hugh Rolo said: “Matt’s role ushers in a new era for Key Fund. We have taken stock of our position and reshaped the business model going forward. Key Fund has always evolved to work with the challenges of the social enterprise sector, and we’re looking forward to this new chapter in our 16-year legacy.”

I’d like to thank the outgoing CEO, Sam Tarff, an innovative, entrepreneurial and growth-orientated CEO, who has now decided the time is right to move on.”

keyfundLogoButton4Key Fund completed a staffing restructure in January. Its investment team will continue to be led by Garry Brown, who joined the Key Fund in 2009 after many years’ experience in the banking sector.

Hugh Rolo continues as Chair.

Matt said: “I’m looking forward to working with the management team and Board on our refreshed strategy for Key Fund, building on our long track record and experience of bringing the right kind of money to community and social enterprise across the North.

Key Fund continues its investments via a range of funders, including: the Regional Growth Fund, European Investment Fund and Social Incubator contracts. Key Fund has benefitted from investment from Big Society Capital and continues discussions with a number of other Investors.

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Cabinet Office – Social Investment Awards

 Investing in UK social business…

The Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards recognise the impact social investment is having on communities across the UK.

Now entering its second year, the awards highlight the innovation and dedication of world leading social investors and enterprises, celebrating both the achievements of teams and individuals alike.

The awards are supported by NatWest. In 1999 the bank set up its own charity, Social & Community Capital, to help fund social enterprises and community lenders that cannot access mainstream finance and to help them on their path to the financial mainstream.

The awards have six categories that applicants can enter, free of charge, by nominating their own businesses or social enterprises.

Institutional Social Investment Award
Institutional investment deal or product that has created demonstrable social impact at scale.
New Social Investors Award
Investment deal or product that has attracted new savers and investors into the social investment market.
Social Entrepreneurs Investment Award
Investment deal into an early stage social organisation to create demonstrable social impact.
International Social Investment Award
International investor who has invested through the UK market to create social impact anywhere in the world.
Market Building Award
Organisation that has demonstrated innovative and diverse ways to grow the social investment market in the UK.
Public Service Transformation Award
Social investment deal that has delivered improved public services.

Categories 1-3 and 5-6 are open to nominations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Category 4 is open to individuals or organisations based anywhere in the world.

The awards close to applications on 18 March 2016. Short-listed nominees will be notified on 1 April 2016 and the awards ceremony will be held in London on 3 May 2016.

For more information see the Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards website.

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Starting your new social business in 2016?

Planning your new social enterprise in 2016?

The Key Fund have a range of on-line resources available for the budding social entrepreneur, or social enterprise that is leaning towards developing its business in 2016.

You can find some simple and effective Key Fund toolkits below. Whether needing to survey and assess your income needs as an individual, or a family unit, or to calculate various loan interests.

You can also find a template for creating your Social Enterprise Business Plan. This will guide you methodically and clearly through the steps you need to plan your governance, your policies and your operational delivery – all focused on social enterprise creation and sustainability.

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View, print or download your cashflow template here (MS Excel file).

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View, print or download your Business Plan template here (pdf file).

internetIconMini View, print or download your Loan Illustrator here (MS Excel file).

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View, print or download your personal survival budget template here (MS Docx file).

The Key Fund main web pages also have a more comprehensive and detailed set of resources available on the Fund Start-up Advice web centre (Courtesy of Start-up Donut). This offers you more insight and detailed resources for creating a new social business and has links to a variety of services and information that new groups or companies will find useful.

So, wherever you are on your social business journey in 2016, from first idea to seeking social investment, you can contact The Key Fund Team here.

A happy and enterprising 2016!

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Spark your inventiveness!

The next deadline for the Design Council Spark programme is approaching on December 14th.

Design Council Spark is a product innovation fund and programme designed to fast-track products to market. Spark is looking for brilliant ideas at prototype stage.

              Source: The Design Council, December 2015

The short film below shows designer Wayne Hemingway, talking about the process of design and invention, and how the Design Council Spark Award fosters the creation of new products and enterprise to create and market your ideas.

Wayne Hemingway says ‘..ideas are free, now is the chance to make those ideas a reality…’

You can find out more about the Spark initiative from The Design Council here. The on-line access to the application process can be found here.

Your concept must be to create a physical product and you need to be UK based to qualify for entry. Up to 150,000 Pounds prize money is to be shared by the winning entries, as well as a period of development and design support to realise your dream.

Good luck with your entry!

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Sheffield Social Enterprise Network: Development tender?

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Sheffield Social Enterprise Network (SSEN) is to commission business development expertise to sustain and develop the network beyond the end of the Lottery grant which expires on 31 March 2016.

‘SSEN requires a consultant to help the network become a sustainable entity beyond the end of the current Awards for All grant which ends on 31.03.2016. This piece of work is fundamental to develop SSEN’s strategy for the medium and long-term’. Source: SSEN Nov. 2015.

The main areas of work include:

  • Work with SSEN management committee and its members to understand its circumstances, problems and opportunities.
  • Develop a tender/funding resource (key information that SSEN can use to input directly into funding/tender bids).
  • Scope the external environment for business opportunities
  • Register SSEN with key contract opportunity websites, mailing lists and newsletters.
  • Identify and evaluate potential income-generating services and projects that SSEN could develop (short term and long term).
  • Write funding and tender bids with the support of management committee members.
The deadline for receipt of tenders is 12pm on Tuesday 10 November 2015.
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Missing in Action:
Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

An exciting two day event, bringing together digital academics, female entrepreneurs and women who are working or interested in creative industries and digital enterprise.

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2015 at the University of Nottingham – Book on-line here.

‘What is Missing in Action about?
A collaboration between the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Digital Women UK, this ‘thought space’ will allow female digital entrepreneurs, academics, creative practitioners and those interested in this field, to discuss professional challenges and concerns, share insights and learn from each other’s experiences and studies of digital entrepreneurship.

Why the title?
Missing in Action reflects the fact that although female digital entrepreneurs are aspiring to start up status, or are working widely in the UK, very little is known about who they are, which communities they come from, the obstacles they face and which entrepreneurial activities they are engaged or interested in.

Women of Colour are driving entrepreneurial growth overseas.
For example, statistics show that women of colour in the US are driving growth in entrepreneurial activity, much of which is underpinned by the digital environment. Yet there is no equivalent or robust information about women’s experiences in the UK.

We believe that increasing the visibility and knowledge-base around UK women working in digital will enable us to develop and champion more targeted professional support and help aspirant women decide if this is a path they want to pursue. This event is one step towards helping to fill the information vacuum’.

This article narrative: Digital Women UK

This is an important weekend event for women in digital. Read more on the event web pages here.

You can discover the training, connecting and campaigning aspects of DigitalWomenUK here.

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NatWest SE100 awards showcase the best
of the UK’s social enterprise sector

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See more here…

£32k prize fund shared by top performing social businesses…

The NatWest SE100 Index has announced the winners of its 2015 awards. Five winners were chosen from 1120 social ventures listed on the NatWest SE100 Index in the UK. This year’s awards build a clear picture of a thriving social enterprise sector that is supporting economic growth in the UK and delivering positive social impact.

The 2015 winners demonstrate best business practice within the social sector, working to address some of the UK’s most acute social issues. This year’s winners are helping to get people from disadvantaged backgrounds back into work, sustaining the environment and revolutionising healthcare services for disabled children.

These inspiring organisations now share over £32,000 in prize money awarded today at Critical Mass, the event for social enterprise, in recognition of their work.

Growth champion £10k prize: The EBP – East Midlands

The EBP is a non-profit dedicated to developing the skills of young people through development and employment programmes. The EBP works to ensure its services provide young people with the opportunity to develop the skills that employers are looking for, striving to engage young people in work and society.

Impact champions share £10k prize:

FRC Group – North West

FRC Group runs three social businesses including furniture recycling and waste management projects. These produce financial profits and create a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives.

Kelvin Valley Honey – Scotland

Kelvin Valley Honey works to sustain Scotland’s honey bee populations whilst contributing to the regeneration of disadvantaged communities through financing and supporting the development of beekeeping, creating employment for people housebound through disability and long term illnesses.

Trailblazing newcomer £5k prize: Andiamo – London

Andiamo works to meet the gap in demand and capacity that currently exists and is growing in the field of orthotics, printing 3D fully customised orthotics children with disabilities and long-term conditions.

Resilience award £5K prize: Five Lamps – North East

Five Lamps delivers an integrated range of inclusion services to transform the lives of individuals and their families from disadvantaged communities, by helping them to find work, start their own business, improve their finances and improve their aspirations.

Storyteller award £2.5k prize: Aduna – London

Aduna is an African-inspired health & beauty brand and social business working to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small-scale producers in Africa to create sustainable income – starting with the nutrient-dense superfoods Baobab and Moringa.

Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director Business Banking, NatWest, who presented the Growth Champion Award, said: “I want to congratulate all this year’s winners, not just on their success in the awards, but on the profound social impact that they are having on our society. NatWest is proud to have supported the SE100 since the beginning and we are committed to unlocking and nurturing entrepreneurial talent through access to finance, markets and expertise.”

Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society who presented the Trailblazing Newcomer award said of the NatWest SE100: “Social enterprises occupy a crucial place in our society. These organisations help tackle social challenges while contributing to economic growth. The SE100 Index is an important benchmark for the sector and I would encourage all social enterprises to sign up so we can build a truly compassionate society.”

(If ever there was a great example of how diverse, dynamic and effective the social (enterprise) sector is in the UK, then look no further than these awards…Ed.)

internetIconMini  You can see the SE100 web site in full here…

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Buy Social this weekend?

This Saturday, 10th October 2015, is Social Saturday – spend your cash with a social enterprise and get some real ‘community multiplier effect‘ for your money!

‘In the UK alone, there are 70,000 social enterprises, contributing £18.5 billion to the UK economy and employing almost a million people. This exciting movement is growing fast all around the world and we’re seeing a boom in start-ups being launched that combine doing business with doing good’.  Source: Social Enterprise UK

At the Key Fund, research that shows that this confusion persists about what social enterprise is.  Although two thirds of us support the idea of social enterprise, only a fifth (21 per cent) knew what social enterprises were.

socialsaturday2015Button‘Simply, it’s about buying or using services from businesses that make a positive difference in our community or on the environment. Social enterprises reinvest their profits into furthering their social mission. They have to have good business models to be financially sustainable, so they don’t rely on grants or charity’. Source: The Key Fund

Key Fund is itself a social enterprise.  Matt Smith of the Key Fund, quoted in a recent article in The Guardian, speaking about the misconceptions about Social Enterprise in the UK stated ‘…what’s interesting is this misconception that social enterprise relies on grants or donations. We escaped a culture reliant on grants many years ago, and the main impetus of social enterprise is to ignite local economies, create jobs, and be profitable or at least sustainable in delivering their ethical aim.”

internetIconMini You can see this informative article from The Guardian in full here.

Invest in your community – buy from a Social Enterprise, not just this weekend, but every week if you can.

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