Loans for Social Enterprises

The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) aims to bridge the increasing funding gap for Kent’s new and existing social enterprises, by offering unsecured loans of between £10k and £100k.

Charities and social enterprises in Kent can now benefit from a fantastic boost to the Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF), which is delivered by Kent Community Foundation thanks to The Growth Fund, managed by Access - The Foundation for Social Investment and funded by Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

Thanks to this support we can now offer a higher level of grant as part of the KSELF, which was originally established with funding from Kent County Council in 2012. Combining grants with loans, KSELF now offers bespoke funding of between £10,000 and £100,000 to groups and encourages taking a more enterprising approach to achieving positive change in our communities.  Since the original launch of our social lending programme, Kent Community Foundation has supported over 200 organisations and has provided loans and grants to the value of £1.238m

The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) is a blended loan and grant fund which will offer unsecured loans to assist new and existing social enterprises in Kent with the potential to expand into Medway. There will be a flat interest rate of 5% with a split between capital and interest payments remaining fixed throughout the term.  

The financial package will include an element of up to 30% grant. In addition to the funding provided through the Scheme, investment readiness and support which will be provided by Kent Community Foundation’s Investment Fund Manager.

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:

  • Loans of between £10,000 to £100,000
  • The potential of a grant of up 30%
  • Term of between 1 and 5 years
  • Unsecured facility
  • Support with initial and ongoing financial planning
  • Flexible and tailored packages
  • Fixed rates and terms
  • 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, contact or phone 01303 814500.

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
  • Terms

    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. 

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

    Read our latest case study here.

    Download our leaflet here.


    Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital and Access