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Action Hampshire

Forward Enterprise Fund

About the Fund

The Forward Enterprise Fund is a £2m social investment fund that supports individuals, charities and social enterprises run by, or creating employment opportunities for, ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction.

It is aimed at individuals, charities and social enterprises that prioritise creating employment opportunities for people breaking the cycle of crime and addiction.

Ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction are two of the groups that mainstream employers are least likely to recruit. Yet having a job can bring independence and self-respect, and is the single most effective factor in reducing the risk of re-offending.

What can I apply for?

The Fund provides access to unsecured loans between £25k – £150k for revenue and / or capital projects (typical interest rate 7.5%) for up to a 5-year term.

Eligible organisations will also have access to grants to pay for up to 10 days of pre-investment business support. Organisations who receive investment will also be able to apply for post-investment business support.

Individuals or start-up enterprises with a bright idea can also access Crowdfunder support with match funding available from The Forward Trust.

Am I eligible?

Applicants are eligible to apply for a loan or grant with the Forward Enterprise Fund if their business or organisation is based and registered within England. The applicant’s business or organisation must also either (or both):

  • Work with, or intend to work with, ex-offenders or people in recovery from addiction and create employment opportunities for people from these communities.
  • Be led by ex-offenders or people in recovery from addiction.

How do I apply?

You will first need to complete the expression of interest form (which includes an eligibility check) on the Forward Enterprise Fund website. We will then be in touch if you meet the criteria for entry.

Please note: Basingstoke Voluntary Action work closely with the local community to raise awareness of grants and also assist with advice and guidance on applications etc. If you apply for this or any other grant, please let us know via email to enable us to understand what is being applied for. Also, if you are in fact successful in receipt of any grant please let us know to enable reporting of such funding locally.


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