Selnet Ltd has been approved as a BIG Potential Provider. Read below all about the Big Potential and how the fund and working with Selnet could help your organisation become more sustainable.
For more details and to start your application process, go to the BIG Potential website: www.bigpotential.org.uk
About Big Potential
Big Lottery Fund’s new £10 million fund is aimed at eligible voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VSCEs) to improve their sustainability, capacity and scale and help them deliver greater social impact for communities across England.
A grant from the fund will help VCSEs, at the very beginning of their social investment journey, to get specialist and tailored support to become investment ready.
What is investment readiness?
Investment ready is a term used to describe organisations that want to grow and expand and who develop their capacity to the extent that they will be successful in gaining external (repayable) investment. This means understanding the requirements of banks and other financial institutions (investors) when you are looking for investment and it includes knowledge about how to develop business plans to secure external finance and communication with investors.
What will the Big Potential programme offer?
Big Potential will offer VCSE organisations the chance to consider the usefulness of social investment as part of its broader financing or fundraising strategy.
Organisations will have access to a brand-new Big Potential website :
with fantastic learning and development content and in-depth information on social investment including case studies, guides and a fully automated diagnostic tool which will be a helpful companion to any VCSE organisation starting its social investment journey.
VCSEs can apply for grants between £25,000 and £75,000 in total to undertake more in-depth investment readiness work with one of Big Potential’s approved providers. These grants will not cover costs relating to the ongoing delivery of your work; just work relating to your organisation’s investment readiness. The grants can also not support projects or activities that the state has a legal obligation to provide.
Applying to Big Potential
Overview of the process
In a nutshell, VCSEs that are eligible can apply for a grant from the Big Potential fund to help them become investment ready. There are a few processes to go through:
1. To start, you will work through a Diagnostic Tool assessment.
2. The Social Investment Business grants team will assess your responses to the diagnostic tool. If you are suitable to proceed you will be invited to a more in-depth 1:1 session with our support advisors.
3. After the 1:1 session with a specialist, expert support advisor, you will receive an investment readiness report which describes all the business development you need to undertake before you can be considered to be investment ready.
4. You will need to team up with an approved provider (an individual or organisation providing technical, financial, legal, business planning or other direct support) of your choice. Selnet Ltd is an approved provider and our listing can be found here:
5. You will meet with the provider and plan an investment readiness project and when this is ready you can apply to the fund for a grant to help you pay for this. You have to pay the provider from this grant (you will get full guidance on how to select and work with a provider as part of the process). This is a preliminary grant.
6. When you and your provider have reached the stage where you think you have an investment deal in sight you may apply a second time to the fund for an investment plan grant to do further work. VCSEs can apply for this grant directly if they already have an investment deal in sight.
7. You may be asked to make a contribution to the total cost and the investment panel that makes decision on grants will pay full attention to your finances, balance sheet and cash flow forecast before making that decision. Please note that being genuinely unable to contribute to costs will not prevent a suitable application from being reviewed by the Panel.
8. Once we make you an offer and you have received your grant, we will explain the usual monitoring and end of grant process associated with grant funding.
The aim at all times is to help VCSEs who want to, grow and expand and provide greater social impact for and with communities across England – in short, to help them become investment ready.
Big Potential will be targeting VCSE’s that are both at an early stage of their investment readiness journey and those that are further along that journey, who are seeking to raise up to £500,000 in external investment. This is to support VCSEs move to a more sustainable funding model and become less dependent on grants.