Latest News

Here at SEE Ahead we like to trawl the internet, subscribe to newsletters and keep abreast of all the latest business news that affects our sector. Anything we find of interest we post here.

First Steps Enterprise Fund Invites Applications from Across England

Social Investment Business Foundation and Asda Foundation have joined together once again to provide a £300,000 pilot fund to support community organisation based and working in England.

The First Steps Enterprise Fund is making a loan-grant package available for small community-led charities and social enterprises based and working in communities in England who are looking for their first loan to help them grow their services and become more sustainable.

A loan-grant package of up to £30,000 (90% loan and 10% grant) is available. A package of up to £50,000 will be considered in exceptional cases.

The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of four years with an optional capital holiday for the first year.

Proposals must be able to explain how their project addresses the needs of the community and how it will tackle underlying issues to deliver benefits to the community.

Particular preference is being given to organisations that work in the following areas:

  • Older people.
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Employment for young people.

Expressions of Interest are currently being accepted from organisations that have been operating for at least one year.

Further information 

£30m SASC loan revamped after low take up

Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) has relaunched and renamed its £30m Third Sector Loan Fund (TSLF) as the Third Sector Investment Fund after consultation with social ventures following low take up of the offering. More information

Brexit could limit charity funding

Brexit will limit funding opportunities for the charity sector, according to research by charity think tank NPC. More than half (53%) of charity chief executives and trustees expect Brexit to have a negative impact on their funding opportunities. Nevertheless, 63% of charity trustees believe leaving the EU will have no effect on demand for their services, while 10% think it will increase demand. In addition, 52% of respondents plan to partner with more charities to deliver services and offset the loss of funding.

For further information

Social enterprise turnover up by 61 per cent on average in 2016

UK social enterprises increased their turnover by an average of 61 per cent last year, according to a new survey undertaken by NatWest. Further information

Start ups reminded of auto-enrolment duties

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued an alert to remind new business owners about their pension duties. All new business start ups from October 2017 will have instant automatic enrolment duties once they take on a member of staff. TPR has launched a new online resource centre with advice, guidance and tools to help start ups comply with their auto-enrolment duties. Charles Counsell, Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “From October, as soon as you take on staff you will have duties towards them. Anyone setting up a business and taking on staff will need to work automatic enrolment into their plans.”

For further information

ZHC and temporary workers unaware of rights

Citizens Advice has called for the Government to ensure that all workers are aware of their holiday entitlements, after discovering that half of zero-hours contract (ZHC) workers and two in five temporary workers do not know that they are entitled to paid holiday. Although some employers are themselves unaware of holiday entitlements for ZHC and temporary workers, others are deliberately misleading workers and exploiting their confusion. Citizens Advice has also backed the introduction of a legal definition of ‘self-employment’ in order to prevent employers from restricting workers’ access to holiday, sick pay and the minimum wage.

Read more

Increase in UK charities’ income

Charities in the UK received a total income, both in contracts and grants, of £45.5 billion in 2014/15, representing a 2.7% year-on-year increase, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) ‘UK Civil Society Almanac 2017’ has revealed. Income from central government increased for the second year in a row, from £7 billion in 2013/14 to £7.4 billion in 2014/15. However, income from local government fell from £7.2 billion in 2013/14 to £7.1 billion in 2014/15, having remained unchanged from 2012/13 to 2013/14. Commenting on the figures, NCVO Chief Executive Sir Stuart Etherington predicted that there is “no realistic prospect of an overall increase in government spending” in the next few years.

Read more

Good Finance website for social enterprises

A new website to help charity trustees and social enterprise operators understand and access social investment has been launched by Big Society Capital, Access and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Good Finance website provides a range of online resources, guidance and case studies. The website also provides an online directory of social investors and advisers that can support organisations when applying for social investment.

For further information

Social Enterprise Networking event 26th April, Leeds

BITC are going to be running a social enterprise networking event in Leeds on the afternoon of the 26th April at Shine Conference and Meeting Space.  Its a high-energy, facilitated format with the aim of creating as many new partnerships and business opportunities as possible in a short space of time. To book your place

Changes to charity funding and regulation

The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities has published a report recommending improvements to charity governance and commissioning practices for charities in England and Wales. The ‘Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society’ report also recommends reforming the way charities are funded to help improve the relationship between charities, the regulator and government, and providing more support and training to trustees. Baroness Pitkeathley, chair of the committee said she hoped the recommendations would help “level the playing field” for smaller charities.

Read more