Added on: 6th November, 2019 by Christina_41410
Social Enterprise Day is an opportunity for organisations supporting the social enterprise movement to raise the profile of their own work, whether as market-builders, investors or champions of the sector
Since 2012 Kent Community Foundation has loaned £1.675m to 40 social enterprises in Kent and Medway through its Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund. The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund aims to bridge the increasing funding gap for Kent’s new and existing social enterprises, by offering unsecured loans of between £10k and £100k.
The aim of the Fund is to spread the culture of social enterprise, break down the barriers which prevent enterprising social businesses from accessing finance and encourage a more enterprising approach to achieving positive change in our communities. Once finance is repaid, it is re-loaned and re-invested back in the community.
Kent Community Foundation awarded Queenborough Harbour Trust CIC a £10,000 grant and a £40,000 loan through this Fund.
The Queensborough Harbour Trust wanted to revitalise Queenborough Harbour and attract more mooring holders and visitors. The walkway had suffered due to lack of maintenance and repair over many years, was heavily used and constantly ravaged by water and weather. The Trust applied for a loan to aid the renewal and refurbishment of the all tide walk ashore facility which allows more vessels to moor alongside and encourages vessels including Thames barges and paddle steamers to use the landing for picking up and dropping off passengers.
Geof Reed, Director, Queenborough Harbour Trust CIC; commented “What the Kent Community Foundation has allowed us to do is re-establish a vibrant maritime centre. When we took over the Harbour in 2012, it was in very poor condition, the equipment was in desperate need of repair and the walkway was closed for safety reasons. We were in desperate need of money to rejuvenate our equipment so that we could open to the public and sell our boat moorings. We applied to Kent Community Foundation for a loan to help restore the walkway. The process was very straight forward, and we had the personal help of a Fund Manager who was always prepared to talk us through each stage. The loan has made a massive difference. When we first started, we had no track record of borrowing, so going to a traditional bank was out of the question. The Kent Social Enterprise Loan along with some other revenue streams allowed us to make a start on putting together a working harbour. Because Kent Community Foundation felt confident enough in us to loan us the money, it set a precedent so that in the later stages, when we applied to central government and other funding streams for additional money to carry out further work, we had a proven borrowing record.”
James Horne, Fund Manager, Kent Community Foundation, said, “The financial packages Kent Community Foundation arranges, can be a real lifeline to many of the organisations we work with, especially as we can offer flexibility with repayments and repayment breaks. I enjoyed working with the Queenborough Harbour Trust to understand their business and their objectives to ensure this was the right loan for them and will be following their progress with much interest.”
Social enterprises interested in applying for a loan, should visit www.kentcf.org.uk/loans/social-enterprises
Alternatively call James Horne, Investment Fund Manager, for further information on 01303 814 500.