Enterprises urged to Venture out for funding

MORE than £150,000 has been pumped into social and not-for-profit enterprises in Yorkshire since a scheme backed by local community foundations began last September.

The organisers are encouraging more enterprises and charities to apply for grants and funding, because £340,000 is available over the next two years.

The Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy programme, run by the three community foundations in Leeds, Calderdale and South Yorkshire, provides small grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 and grant and loan packages of between £5,000 and £100,000, plus practical support in the form of business advice and mentoring.

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The news of the funding coincides with the publication of a national survey which shows there are an estimated 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing around a million people and contributing £24bn to the economy.

The aim of the Yorkshire programme is to promote social enterprise and entrepreneurship in ‘third sector’ organisations.

It is also helping to establish and support new social enterprises as well as reinforcing existing ones. The programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has supported dozens of enterprises, ranging from a community owned swimming pool, to a social business aiming to reduce the number of empty houses in Leeds.

Rich Cole, director of the Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Programme, said: “Many kinds of charities, third sector and not-for-profit organisations, which have seen reductions in their traditional sources of funding, are looking to develop or expand.”