TSELF Helps Social Enterprises in the North West Beat the Credit Crunch
The Social Enterprise Loan Fund offers hope to hundreds of charities and social enterprises in the North West that are unable to secure funding from mainstream sources.
Accessing finance to help develop a business can be challenging for many successful, well-established companies. For community enterprises it can often be nigh on impossible – and, with the credit crunch, things have got a whole lot tougher. However, help is at hand…
The registered charity The Social Enterprise Loan Fund (TSELF) helps organisations that have a social impact, especially those working in disadvantaged communities. TSELF raises funds from a combination of public and private sources. With loan finance from traditional sources harder than ever to come by, TSELF is there to help.
Roy White, Regional Director in the North West, says: “Social enterprises play a vital role in our communities and I am keen to see social enterprises in the North West thrive and prosper. The focus of our efforts is to help community businesses grow in a responsible way so that they achieve long term sustainability, which is not only good for them and their employees, but also for the people they help. Is this what is meant by the Big Society?”
Support is provided in a number of ways: – loans up to £250,000 to purchase property or make improvements to existing buildings; loans of up to £100,000 for vehicles or equipment; loans from £3,000 up to £50,000 to help with the day-to-day running of the business.
“We are used to dealing with organisations that have a diverse range of legal structures and governance arrangements, which means we understand their specific needs,” explains Roy. “However, all the enterprises we help must be able to show that they can afford the loan repayments – the last thing we want to do is create financial difficulties for an organisation that is providing a service in its community.”
Some of the other types of social enterprise in the North West that have been helped include a recycling business providing opportunities for people with mental health problems, a charity helping to reintegrate long-term unemployed people and an enterprise training and employment centre.