We help social entrepreneurs
raise capital

Investment and Contract Readiness Fund

ClearlySo have been selected as one of the first four approved providers for the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund programme; a new £10 million fund, managed by The Social Investment Business.

For more information, please visit www.beinvestmentready.org.uk

About the fund

The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF) is a three year £10 million fund, being delivered on behalf of the Office for Civil Society that aims to ensure social ventures are better equipped to secure new forms of investment and compete for public service contracts.

It will provide grants to social ventures that have the potential for high growth and deliver positive social impact for the purchase of investment and/or contract readiness support.

The aim of the Fund is to help social ventures access social investment from retail social investors, or bid for and win Government or other public service delivery contracts. As such we envisage social ventures to be delivering a cross section of ‘social goods’. These ventures might be tackling social problems and or enhancing or improving lives, communities or areas. The work of the ICR Fund is to help build the deal pipeline of social ventures that can confidently seek finance from social investment retailers or apply to run significant Government or other public service delivery contracts.

Social ventures can only apply to the fund in partnership with approved advisers – without exception.

What will the Fund offer?

The Fund will offer grants of between £50k and £150k to purchase specialised investment and contract readiness support and to cover some of the costs of putting the investment/contract readiness plan into action in the social venture itself.

The Fund is focused on enabling social ventures to access specialist support from an approved investment/contract readiness provider with a track record in supporting social ventures to secure social investment to be an integral and necessary part of the funding package.

About making an application

Who can apply?

Social ventures that tackle social problems, are financially sustainable and want to scale up (including registered charities, social enterprises, community and voluntary organisations, social businesses, charities and mutuals) are welcome to apply. Social ventures must apply with an approved investment/contract readiness provider with whom they have developed their investment/contract readiness plan.

This Fund is not just restricted to those organisations with non-profit legal forms and we welcome applications from profit distributing entities who deliver social impact. Only social ventures based in England will be eligible to apply.

The Fund is targeted on helping social ventures raise significant levels (£500,000 upwards) of capital.

How do ventures apply?

The Fund will accept applications for approval from providers from Monday 30 April 2012. Social ventures can view a list of approved providers, criteria and download an application form from Monday 21 May 2012.

Social ventures can only apply to the fund in partnership with approved providers. Applications to the Fund will be submitted by the provider on behalf of the venture.

Who is eligible?

All social ventures will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible to make an application to the Fund.

  1. Your organisation is based in and working in England.
  2. You are applying for a grant of between £50,000 and £150,000. 
  3. Having considered the State Aid implications of seeking the ICRF grant the social venture is satisfied that the application, if successful, would be compliant. 
  4. The proposed work is designed to prepare the social venture to raise investment of at least £500,000 (external returnable money) to develop services or win contracts of at least £1million and will be completed within 18 months.
  5. The grant requested will be used solely to fund costs associated with becoming investment and/or contract ready.
  6. The grant requested will be used primarily to fund revenue costs, with no expenditure on capital items with a value in excess of £5,000.
  7. The proposal for which you are seeking funding is neither religious nor party political in nature (to be clear, this does not exclude faith groups).

Apply through us

If you are eligible to apply for the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF), then we would like to hear from you. Please send us an email at icrf@clearlyso.com with the following information enclosed so we can begin the process of assessing your social venture:

1) A clear, concise paragraph describing your organisation, your business and revenue model, and the social and/or environmental impact you create. (300 words max)

2) An overview of what you believe your organisation needs to achieve in order to become investment and/or contract ready. (300 words max)

3) Assuming you were successful in securing grant funding through the ICRF, what amount of investment would you seek to raise and/or what value of contracts would you seek to secure? (300 words max)

4) If you're seeking investment, what do you envisage investing in? If you can be specific, please describe how much and in what areas.

5) Team biographies - please provide a two page overview describing the roles, backgrounds and experience of your senior management team, and if applicable, please include your Board/Board of trustees.

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