Loans for Social Enterprises

Kent Big Society Fund

The Kent Big Society Fund has been established with initial funding from Kent County Council to provide loan financing to support existing and newly created social enterprises that benefit the local community and enhance the economic, social and environmental vibrancy of Kent. Primarily a loan fund, there is some scope for an element of grant funding.

Kent Big Society Fund

The aim of the Fund is to spread the culture of social enterprise and break down the barriers which prevent enterprising social businesses from accessing finance. Once finance is repaid, it will be re-loaned and re-invested back in the community. Key attributes of the Fund:

  • Investment from £10,000 to £100,000
  • Flexible and tailored packages
  • Accessible application process
  • Fixed rates and terms
  • On-going supportive relationship
  • Funds reinvested in the sector


Who can apply?

Organisations who can demonstrate that they operate as social enterprises, including:

  • Clear social aims and community benefit noted in governing document
  • Trading activities form a significant part of income
  • Assets and/or profits are used and retained for the benefit of the community
  • Specific power to borrow

We expect a wide variety of organisational structures to apply including charities, Community Interest Companies, Companies limited by guarantee, Industrial & Provident Societies. The Fund will not provide finance to individuals, unincorporated entities or private/statutory sector organisations.

Social enterprises must be operating within the Kent County Council administrative area and be utilising the finance to benefit Kent residents.

Application process

Initial Enquiry: If you are a Social Enterprise interested in applying for a loan, first download and complete the Loan Enquiry form.

Full Application: Your Loan Enquiry will be assessed by KCF and if you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be invited to submit a full application including a business plan, financial projections and cash flow forecasts.

Development and Assessment Phase: Your application will be reviewed and KCF will contact you if there is further documentation and/or additional information required to strengthen your application.

Panel Decisions: Once the assessment is complete, your application will be submitted to the next investment panel for consideration where it will be approved, possibly subject to conditions, deferred or declined. You will be informed of the panel decision at the earliest opportunity. All funding is at the discretion of the investment panel and KCF trustees.

Monitoring and Evaluation: As part of the terms and conditions of receiving funding, all successful applicants will be expected to provide regular management information and progress reports. This will include information on the social return, community benefit and the creation of employment opportunities.

If you are interested in applying for a loan first download and complete the loan enquiry form or contact our office.

Make initial loan enquiry

To speed up your application, please send us the following information if available.

  • Governing Document
  • Last 2 years annual accounts
  • Latest trading figures/Most recent management accounts
  • Last 3 months bank statements
  • Please also download and sign a State Aid Proforma


    A range of factors will determine bespoke terms for each applicant. We anticipate most loans will be unsecured with repayment to be made over 2-5 years. A modest set-up fee may be payable for the business support that is provided. 

    There may be some scope for providing an element of grant funding (maximum 4:1 loan to grant ratio) alongside loan finance to support the development of business plans and new enterprise. Please note, however, grant funding is not guaranteed.

    For further information, please email James Horne, Investment Funds Manager, on or phone 01303 814500.