Investing​ with, and for, the Barking and Dagenham community.

Welcome to the GROW Fund!

For too long the people who are most affected by funding decisions have been excluded from the decision-making process. In Barking and Dagenham, we’re changing that! 

What is the GROW Fund?

It was developed by residents of the borough to support entrepreneurs and community leaders in creating stronger communities for people and the planet. We are all working towards a more prosperous borough where the communities most affected by decisions are actively involved in making them.

Are you a resident who likes to have a say in how money moves throughout Barking and Dagenham?

Sign up for our newsletter to be notified about our recruitment.

Funding Opportunities

From now through November, grantees of the GROW Fund’s development fund awarded in May 2023 will be developing their growth plans and community impact with help from our partners at Impact Hub London.

Grants recipients include:

  • Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance (BDYD) and Future MOLDS Communities
  • The Boathouse Studios
  • Company Drinks 
  • Fruitful Orchard
  • Grounded Coffee
  • One Room Live and Area44
  • Sew London Project
  • Ultimate Counselling

Our funding and investment approach looks at the total impact, not just the return. In this way, we aim to support the innovative ideas of local people and organisations and provide them with the funding and training they need for long-term success.

In November 2023, applications will open for repayable finance from the GROW Fund. Subscribe to our Newsletter to learn more about the fund and to be notified when applications open.

Where does the GROW Fund come from?


The GROW Fund is a new blended finance instrument aimed at supporting social purpose businesses and organisations in Barking and Dagenham. It draws on a grant from Lankelly Chase Foundation (for the grant part of the fund), and from BD Giving’s Community Endowment Fund (for the investment part of the fund), in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council.

The potential of the GROW Fund

The GROW Fund’s goal is to create a sustainable source of income for the community over the next decade. 

We plan to achieve this by encouraging additional donations and investments to top up the Fund. Working with the Community Steering Group, we will carefully balance the needs of current and future generations by ensuring that we do not spend all the surplus. We will establish ambitious ethical guidelines to monitor our investments, ensuring that the Fund contributes to building a stronger and more cohesive borough.

We are committed to transparency and inclusivity at every step of our journey. By making opportunities visible, fostering collaborative decision-making, and sharing our progress and learnings, we hope to create meaningful change in our community. 

Interested in Learning From Our Community-Led Model?

As a participatory decision-making organisation, we are interested in sharing our learnings and findings.

You can also keep up to date with our work by reading our BD Giving Notes.

Late to the party? Read about the GROW Fund story so far...

Barking and Dagenham community investors are tackling UK social inequality

Barking & Dagenham’s GROW Fund decision makers have chosen to...

Read More25 October 2023

The GROW Fund podcast launches today

Our new podcast about local investment and entrepreneurs is available...

Read More11 October 2023

Our community makes its first investment

This is a story of financial firsts! Our CSG has...

Read More14 August 2023

GROW Fund Grantees’ Announcement!

Barking and Dagenham Giving is excited to announce the eight...

Read More15 May 2023

Barking & Dagenham Businesses set to GROW

A flagship new fund exclusively for businesses and not-for-profits has...

Read More1 February 2023

BD Giving Notes – #23 ‘A piece of cake?’

By assuming that Risk, Return, Impact and Liquidity are all...

Read More4 October 2022

BD Giving Notes – #21 ‘A Reality Check’

The question is, do we need to consider ‘professionalising’ our...

Read More19 September 2022

BD Giving Notes – #18 ‘Help! Understanding the Investment World?!’

But why would we want someone sitting in a swanky...

Read More30 August 2022

BD Giving Notes – #16 ‘Co-creating Communications with local people’

This week’s Note is written by our communications consultant, Louise...

Read More15 August 2022

BD Giving Notes – #13 ‘The first ‘returns’ on our investment’

Participation takes time and resources but the outcome is larger...

Read More25 July 2022

BD Giving Note – #11 ‘The value in the process’

How do you determine whether a participatory funding intervention has...

Read More29 June 2022

We. Did. It! – We have launched the Community Investment Policy

We took Barking and Dagenham’s Community-Led Investment Policy to Parliament...

Read More22 June 2022

Building trust and sharing responsibility

After the first meeting of the Community Steering Group with...

Read More18 May 2022

The CSG’s story so far

After 4 months, lots of learning, questioning, and more than...

Read More26 April 2022

Ask the Experts

In the fifth workshop, at the request of CSG members,...

Read More19 April 2022

CSG Members ‘Cautiously Empowered’ to Make Decisions on Investment

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More21 March 2022

Community Steering Group Take the Driving Seat of Investment

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More10 February 2022

A Bullseye for Barking & Dagenham

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More21 January 2022

What would you choose, oranges, apples or lemons?

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More6 December 2021

Models of Community Investments

During Giving Week 2021, as part of our learning journey...

Read More8 July 2021

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