Homeless Link partners with Access on new £40m programme

Friday, 7 September 2018 - 4:16pm

Homeless Link partners with Access and other partners to launch new Enterprise Development Programme.

  • Major new five year, £40m, programme to support charities and social enterprises develop or grow their enterprising activity has launched, funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment.
  • The programme will commence with year-long pilot grant and learning programmes operating in the youth and homelessness sectors. Homeless Link will be driving the homelessness strand and supporting our network of homelessness organisations to apply.
  • The programme consists of two streams – a grant programme, called “Enterprise Grants”, which will be administered by Social Investment Business and will award grants of £1.85m over the course of the pilot; and a learning programme, “Enterprise Learning”, will be run by School for Social Entrepreneurs.

Homeless Link will be working to deliver Access’ new Enterprise Development Programme to the homelessness sector. The idea is to work to inspire organisations in the homelessness sector to become more financially resilient and support those who want to transition into new enterprise models with grant funding and a training programme.

The Enterprise Development Programme is a five-year £40m programme that provides a broad range of support for charities and social enterprises in England, helping them make a transition to new enterprise models, or grow existing ones. There will be a particular focus on the enterprise models which are best enabled by access to finance, and on enabling organisations to utilise the tool of social investment as part of that transition.

Matt Harrison, Director of Business and Social Enterprise at Homeless Link, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Access to help deliver this programme to our members and other homelessness organisations. By supporting them to develop their skills in social enterprise we hope that we can make the sector more sustainable and better able to support people who are homeless. We’re looking forward to working with our partners on this programme to deliver grants and support an innovative training scheme to help charities think about enterprise.”

This month two one-year pilot programmes will launch – a grant programme, “Enterprise Grants”; and a learning programme, “Enterprise Learning”. These will be delivered by a coalition of partners and are available to charities and social enterprises which work in the homelessness and youth sectors. Homeless Link, The Centre for Youth Impact and UK Youth will work as sector partners on the pilot programmes. The ambition is for the programme to learn from these initial one-year pilots and expand to other parts of the charity and social enterprise sectors as the work develops.

Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access, said: “Access was set up with funds from government to help social investment be a more useful tool for charities and social enterprises. Key to this happening is the development of enterprise models within the sector. This is what this new programme is all about. We have chosen to start this work in the homelessness and youth sectors because we have seen that they have significant untapped potential for enterprise development and therefore a latent requirement for social investment.”

Homeless Link members can find out more by contacting Sophie Price.