Here’s our round up of business advice, funding and key information for the social enterprise sector.

Updated: 15th April:

Resilience and Recovery Fund

A £25m recovery fund, £29m in emergency loans and £50m more as Big Society Capital pledges to “reprioritise and repurpose” existing and future investments – while charities get a long-awaited promise of funding from government. Launching mid April – you can find out a summary of the support on offer and partners involved here via Pioneers Post

Official government guidance for businesses:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Government factsheet explaining all business support on offer: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/873676/Covid-19_fact_sheet_18_March.pdf

Regional support for Social Enterprises

There is plenty of support available remotely from your local business support providers delivered on the phone, skype, live chat and through online workshops. 

Your local enterprise agency:

WENTA: Bedfordshire and Hertfordshirehttps://www.wenta.co.uk/

NWES: Business Support in Norfolk https://www.nwes.org.uk/about-us/

Let’s Do Business Group – Essex  https://letsdobusinessgroup.co.uk/

Basildon &District Local enterprise Agency – Basildon http://bdlea.co.uk/

The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbeahttps://colbea.co.uk/

STANTA St Albans Enterprise Agencyhttp://stanta.co.uk/

MENTA (Suffolk) www.menta.org.uk

Other support

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) provide impartial support for businesses to grow and realise its potential with free business support, it offers advice, training networking and support.  Additionally, they can offer access to grants, mentoring and help with efficiency savings.

BEST Growth Hub – Essex www.bestgrowthhub.org.uk

New Anglia Growth Hub – Norfolk and Suffolk https://www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk/

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub – Bedfordshire in the East https://www.semlepgrowthhub.com/

Hertfordshire Growth Hub – Hertfordshire https://www.hertsgrowthhub.com/

signpost2 grow  – Peterborough and Cambridgeshire http://signpost2grow.co.uk/

The Hive Enterprise Centre part of the Enterprise 4 Good group http://www.enterprise4good.org/home.html

UK wide Social Enterprise resources

SEUK have collated information on their website and offering regualr webinars of advice. There’s a page on their website which will be a place where social enterprises can share the stories about how they are dealing with the crisis. SEUK want to know more about the incredible work you are doing across the country and how, in the midst of it, you are changing how you work –  whether it’s supporting the most vulnerable in your community or working on the front line of dealing with this public health emergency. Please send your stories to shehan.perera@socialenterprise.org.uk and they will look to share them across their channels. 


  • NCVO guide: Your organisation and coronavirus – a comprehensive guide being updated regularly and aimed at the social sector. It includes sections on:
    • How to protect staff, volunteers and visitors
    • Whether to cancel events and activities
    • How to support beneficiaries and service users, including those who are vulnerable or facing discrimination
    • How to manage finances, planning and insurance
    • Contingency planning

SSE guide on how to prepare your organisation for weeks/months ahead: https://www.the-sse.org/news/how-to-prepare-for-corona-as-a-social-enterprise-charity-or-impact-organisation/

Good Finance resource hub for charities and social enterprises: https://www.goodfinance.org.uk/covid-19-resource-hub-charities-social-enterprises

The Plunkett Foundation is updating a live page with advice and guidance for community businesses during the pandemic, from managing risks to supporting communities. 

Cooperatives UK has posted advice on their website regarding grants and tax reliefs.

Locality has shared information with its members on how to access support as well as the latest information and advice about COVID-19 and its effects.

Funding support

New funds have been launched to support charities and community businesses in response to COVID-19:

Regularly updating list of support collated by Pioneer’s Post: https://www.pioneerspost.com/business-school/20200320/social-enterprises-and-covid-19-grants-loans-and-other-funding

National Emergencies Trust
NET is launching a fundraising appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people quickly.

The Coronavirus Charity Help Fund

Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com has made £1m available to fund urgent small charity coronavirus poverty relief, aimed at those working on the frontline of this crisis. 

Free Crowdfunder fundraising

Crowdfunder is offering 100% free fundraising for small businesses to help mitigate the disruption of coronavirus. 

https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2020/03/i-m-making-p1m-available-to-fund-urgent-small-charity-coronaviru/

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