Social enterprises across Lancashire are being encouraged to apply for social investment, offered by a Merseyside-based funder, to help them become more sustainable and enhance their social impact.
First Ark Social Investment (FASI) works with social enterprises and charities across the North West and is especially keen to partner with organisations in Lancashire.
FASI, together with Lancaster University and the Social Enterprise Network for Lancashire (Selnet) is offering local social enterprises the chance to attend a free ‘social investment workshop’. Held on 23 September, from 12.30 – 3.30pm, at FASS Meeting Room 2, North Campus, at the University, it will offer individuals face-to-face funding advice, support around applying for investment and there’s an opportunity to listen to talks by all partners.
FASI recently received an additional commitment of top-up funding from The Growth Fund, a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund, Big Society Capital and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. This additional backing will enable FASI to offer up to an additional £2.3m in ‘blended’ finance investments, made up of grants and loans, to social enterprises across the North West, including Lancashire.
Léann Hearne, Group Chief Executive Officer at First Ark Group, said:
“We’re looking to work with any social enterprises in the area that promote social investment – from an organisation that upskills unemployed people, to a creative enterprise or sporting venture.
“If you’re wondering about how to grow your social organisation or charity come along to our free workshop at Lancaster University and speak to one of our team and listen to informed speakers.
“Many organisations in Lancashire might not be aware of the funds and strategic support we offer. We’re here to help social enterprises grow, become more sustainable, increase their social value and make a real difference within their communities.
“We’re particularly keen to support organisations in the area and want to raise awareness of how FASI can help create additional social impact and develop financial sustainability.”
Glyn Jones, Commercial Programme Manager at Lancaster University, added:
“Funding is a vital part of business growth and key to sustainability. It’s also one that causes the most concern for entrepreneurs and company owners. Social investment is a great option to consider through First Ark Social Investment, especially when supported by organisations like Selnet, which has a deep understanding of the social space in Lancashire.
“Selnet and First Ark both support our aspirations. Selnet is a great example of a pro-active network that positively contributes to the success and sustainability of its members, and First Ark’s social business model chimes with our aims in population health and sustainable care.”
Liz Tapner, Chief Executive Officer at Selnet, Lancashire’s social enterprise network, commented:
“Selnet is here to help Lancashire social enterprises to develop. We’re thrilled be working with First Ark Group again, in collaboration with Lancaster University. Many organisations might be wary of social investment, assuming it is too complex or out of reach to achieve. This is a great chance to understand how it actually works in practice, how it can enable organisations grow, access new opportunities and have an even greater impact.”
To book a place on the free social investment workshop please register here:
To apply for funding from FASI please visit:
Download the press release here