A flagship new fund exclusively for businesses and not-for-profits has been launched in Barking and Dagenham. The fund includes a £25,000 grant, a FREE seven-month accelerator programme, and the chance to apply for further investment from some of London’s top social investors.
The idea for the Fund came from a community steering group, mostly local working mums, recruited through an open process by the charity BD Giving. The charity tasked the group to learn about social investment and steer its investment ambitions for the borough.
They chose to develop the GROW Fund so the many business owners and entrepreneurs who call B&D home can create both a commercial and a social impact in the borough.
BD Giving’s CEO Géraud de Ville de Goyet said:
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement Cllr Ashraf said:
At the launch event, one member of the Community Steering Group said:
The money for the GROW Fund is part of a larger endowment entrusted to BD Giving by the local Council. Part of this funding comes from the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy, which is paid for by developers of new building projects in the borough.
The charity and community group want to attract further investment into the GROW Fund, which is now open for applications from local businesses, non-profits and CICs that can demonstrate:
- Attachment and at least one-year track record delivering work or activity in Barking and Dagenham
- Aged 18 years or over
- Annual turnover was below £300,000 last year
- A commitment to at least 2 hours per week throughout a 7-month
- development programme, running from April – October 2023
- An ambition to seek further development in the form of an investment
When asked, one member of the the community described their takeaway from the event,