Big Lottery Fund
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Social entrepreneurs win big Lottery backing

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is backing the search for budding Bransons to transform their local communities by funding two major, England-wide social entrepreneur programmes to the tune of £15.5 million.

UnLtd and the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) will each run a programme of grants designed to support, create and expand over 1200 social enterprises. These fantastic proposals will complement a range of interventions being made by BIG, the Cabinet Office and others to support social enterprises at different stages ofgrowth and investment.

UnLtd’s Big Venture Challenge is a follow-up to a successful pilot that supported 25 of the most ambitious social entrepreneurs in England. The new five year programme will receive £8,511,501 from BIG to support 100 social entrepreneurs. Selected from regions with under-developed social investment markets, these social entrepreneurs will each receive up to £100,000 and access to intensive support, strategic networks and investors. This will allow them to grow ventures quickly and benefit thousands of people in England.

SSE will receive £6,936,314 to expand the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs programme in partnership with Lloyds and Nominet. Supporting over 1,100 social entrepreneurs across England over the next five years, SSE will provide training, mentoring and seed financing to help people create and develop social enterprises to address issues faced in their communities. The funding will allow SSE to double their existing coverage, working with social entrepreneurs in seven deprived areas across England.

Nat Sloane, England Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said:  ‘These two programmes can make a real difference to communities in a way that isn’t just about throwing money at the issues and then forgetting about them, but instead developing a new, more sustainable approach. I am sure their successes will serve as a great example of what social enterprise can achieve.

‘By making these in-principle awards, BIG is exploring new ways of delivering our People Powered Change mission, designed to enable people and communities to implement new ideas that will change lives for the better and support those most in need.’

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888

Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

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  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
  • The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
  • The range of interventions being made by BIG, the Cabinet Office and others to support social enterprises at different stages ofgrowth and investment include:
    • Social Incubator Fund – funded by Cabinet Office, delivered by BIG to provide funding for social incubators to support early stage social ventures.
    • Investment and Contract Readiness Fund - funded by Cabinet Office, delivered by The Social Investment Business – to provide support for social ventures looking to take on investment of more than £500,000 or contracts over £1m.
    • An investment readiness fund that BIG are developing to support voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations wanting to move towards taking on social investment of up to £500,000.

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