First Steps Enterprise Fund

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What is the Fund?First Steps Enterprise Fund

First Steps Enterprise Fund (FSEF) is a £300,000 pilot fund to support community organisations. We manage this fund on behalf of the ASDA Foundation.

Who is it for?

Community organisations (charities and social enterprises) based in England that are looking to take on their first loan to help them grow and become more sustainable.

Particular preference is given to organisations that work in the following areas:

  • Older people
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Employment for young people

How much can I apply for?

Funding packages of up to £30,000* are available (90% loan and 10% grant). The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of 4 years with an optional capital holiday for the first year.

*up to £50,000 is available for exceptional cases.

Am I eligible?

This programme is open to community organisations that:

  • Are based and work in England
  • Have been operating for at least one year
  • Can provide evidence of need for and benefit to their local community.

How do I apply?

The first step is to fill out the online Expression of Interest.

If you meet the fund’s criteria we will call you for a chat about your proposal. This will be followed by an assessment visit. You application will then be put to our investment committee.

Please click here for the website.

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