Jo Wedderspoon_2

Joanne Wedderspoon

Development Manager

Charities Aid Foundation

Funding to help Welsh start-up social enterprises

28 June 2021

Social enterprises based in Wales will be able to pitch for a blended finance package (part interest-free loan / part grant) of up to £30,000, thanks to a new round of social investment from CAF Venturesome.

The SE-Assist Fund, managed by CAF Venturesome, supported by Legal & General and the Wales Co-operative Centre, launches on 28th June with an opportunity to share plans and ideas with a local committee. (Applications close on 23rd July  with committee presentations scheduled for 7th September).

While 2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid-19, it was also a year of solidarity, community spirit and co-operation. Social enterprises reached out to communities across Wales to support those who needed extra help and  stepped in to supply vital resources and to raise money for our NHS. It was a year of enormous resilience and change for the sector.

The Good Wash Company toiletries

The Good Wash Company, the luxury wash and ethical lifestyle brand that helps improve lives of animals and people in local communities in Wales is currently working hard to provide soaps and handwash to their local NHS community. For every order taken they donate a bar of soap to pass on to a care worker. Their products are cruelty free and are sourced from only the finest natural products from the land and sea.  The SE-Assist Fund supported Good Wash in 2019 with a £60k unsecured loan.

“This is the fifth year that our SE-Assist Fund has run in Wales and one we feel is more important than ever,” said Holger Westphely of CAF Venturesome.

 “Since launching in Wales in 2016 the fund has committed £570,000 to 22 wonderful social enterprises. These organisations are vital in supporting vibrant communities. They improve lives, create jobs and help to build a diverse and inclusive local economy.  From talking to our partners in Wales we know that that there is a need for a blended finance product to make the cost of social investment capital more affordable for social enterprises.

“We know that for many start-up social enterprises a loan is not always appropriate. This is why we want to offer a blended finance solution,” adds Westphely. “We invite all eligible Welsh social enterprises to apply by 23rd July. Applicants will work closely with Wales Co-operative Centre which will support them to prepare their social enterprises for investment.”

Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership

Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership (WRAP) has been a quality assured provider of restorative training, practice and consultancy services for over 6 years. They enable individuals to build, maintain and repair relationships- including  personally and professionally. They support individuals and services to gain a greater -understanding of their strengths and wellbeing needs; support vulnerable communities to work to find their voice and co-produce solutions themselves; and help teams become more healthy, collaborative and high-performing especially in times of pressure, trauma and conflict.  In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, they expanded their remote working arrangements so that they can operate effectively in a flexible, accessible, safe and agile way. They recognised that the outbreak of Covid-19 presented many of their clients with unique and unprecedented challenges in terms of how they manage their work.  WRAP have now adapted and increased their offer of restorative services to include wellbeing services and on-line provision.  The SE-Assist Fund supported WRAP in 2019 with a £30,000 unsecured loan.

To be considered applicants need to have an annual turnover of under £500,000, be working towards a sustainable business model, and demonstrate a clear social or environmental impact. Successful applicants will receive flexible, interest-free loans of up to £20,000 (interest bearing up to £60,000), repayable over three years, together with a grant of up to £10,000.

Lynne Sheehy, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Legal and General said:

“Working in partnership with CAF Venturesome and the Wales Co-operative Centre we support start-up businesses in Wales through the SE-Assist fund.

“We recognise and value the positive impact these small businesses have in the heart of our communities and the significant contribution they make to the economy.”

The SE-Assist Fund is delivered by CAF Venturesome in partnership with Legal & General and the Wales Co-operative Centre; with the support of the Welsh Government, Business in the Community Wales and the Institute of Directors Wales.

Legal and General

wales cooperative centre canolfan cydweithredol cymru

Business in the Community
Llywodraeth Cymru Welsh Government
Institute of Directors

For further information on how to apply and examples of past successful social enterprise loans, visit Interest-free loans to help your social enterprise grow | SE-Assist (