Eastside Primetimers has been selected as an approved provider on the Forward Enterprise Fund, a £2m social investment fund that supports individuals, charities and social enterprises run by, or creating employment opportunities for, ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction.

The fund is a partnership between Social Investment Business and The Forward Trust, backed by Access – The Foundation for Social InvestmentBig Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital as part of their wider Growth Fund initiative.

At Eastside Primetimers we offer a comprehensive social investment and fundraising service, unlocking grants and loans to help charities and social enterprises to grow, whether it’s money for a new site, for refitting a building, or raising working capital. Working closely with social investors, we have been one of the most successful investment readiness advisors in the social sector, helping over 60 charities and social enterprises in the last 5 years. We will now bring our investment readiness support to help those who wish to access the Forward Enterprise Fund by providing practical support on issues such as business planning, financial modelling, measuring impact, governance and sustainable funding.

Who is the Fund for?

This fund is aimed at individuals, charities and social enterprises that prioritise creating employment opportunities for people breaking the cycle of crime and addiction. Ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction are two groups mainstream employers are least likely to recruit. Yet having a job can bring independence and self-respect, and is the single most effective factor in reducing the risk of re-offending.

Applicants are eligible to apply for a loan or grant with the Forward Enterprise Fund if their business or organisation is based and registered within England. The applicant’s business or organisation must also either (or both):

  • Work with, or intend to work with, ex-offenders or people in recovery from addiction and create employment opportunities for people from these communities.
  • Be led by ex-offenders or people in recovery from addiction.

What can I apply for?

The Fund provides access to unsecured loans between £25k – £150k for revenue and/or capital projects (typical interest rate 7.5%) for up to a 5-year term. Eligible organisations will also have access to grants to pay for up to 10 days of pre-investment business support. Organisations who receive investment will also be able to apply for post-investment business support.

Individuals or start-up enterprises with a bright idea can also access Crowdfunder support with match funding available from The Forward Trust.

How do I apply?

You will first need to complete the expression of interest form (which includes an eligibility check) on the Forward Enterprise Fund website, who will then be touch with you if you meet the criteria for entry.

To discuss your eligibility, please email jo@ep-uk.org or call us on 020 7250 8334 to arrange a conversation with with our Forward Enterprise Fund lead, Jo Simpson.

Eastside Primetimers

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