Key Fund aiming for £1m a month investment

SOCIAL enterprise investor Key Fund is aiming to invest £1m every month for the next five months across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Key Fund is offering a loan and grant blend to help finance new business ideas or existing business growth. Grants will be at the discretion of the Key Fund, but usually make up 10% of the loan taken.

Garry Brown, head of Investment at Key Fund, said: “We’re asking anyone living in Yorkshire and the Humber who has an idea, or is involved in a group, organisation, enterprise, or community with an enterprising idea, to talk to us.”

“We understand the unique aspects of the North and the challenges that Yorkshire communities face in the current economic climate; almost 80% of all investments last year were in the most deprived 20% areas in England.”

Doncaster’s Refurnish has benefitted from the scheme, and now has a turnover of £1m and 43 staff. A recent top-up from Key Fund of a £40,000 grant and a £40,000 loan has aided growth in the company.

Chief executive Andy Simpson said of the Key Fund: “The Key Fund delivers. It always has done. There are lots of funding institutions out there that make promises, that talk a good story and shine in the eyes of the powers that be, but none deliver like the Key Fund. The Key Fund truly understands our sector, it lives and breathes it, it believes in what we strive to achieve.

Based in Sheffield, Key Fund was established to counteract long-term unemployment after the collapse of the steel and coal industries in South Yorkshire.

Key Fund aims to create and sustain jobs, invest in disadvantaged areas, and support and sustain social enterprises and has directly invested over £35m since inception in 1999.

The organisation covers businesses from community-owned pubs, to social care services, high-tech renewable energy solutions and recycling schemes.

Mr Brown added: “The sector is uniquely placed to address some of the greatest challenges we face, putting people at the centre and not just focussing on business as usual.

“We’ve enabled thousands of people and organisations to help our communities to take control of their own future, but we want to help more.

“As well as access to finance, we have a wealth of expertise and understanding around the sensitivities of setting up these kinds of businesses – big or small.”

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