Sources of funding

PSI Grant Programme
The Private Sector Investment (PSI) programme is a grant facility of the Dutch Government. The PSI programme supports investment projects in developing countries with a grant of 50% (for ‘regular’ developing countries) or 60% (for fragile countries) of the project budget. Investment projects should be a cooperation between an international and local company and have a positive impact on the country. Additional criteria are: innovative, commercially feasible, pilot scale, follows up investment and transfer of knowledge.

  • Max. project budget: € 1,500,000
  • Grant up to € 900,000 (60% of project budget) for ‘PSI Plus’ countries
  • Grant up to € 750,000 (50% of project budget) for ‘regular’ countries

More info here »

Big Lottery Fund – International Communities

  • Closing date: 31 March 2014
  • £50k-£500k
  • Available to UK-based NGOs and UK-based voluntary and community sector* (VCS*) organisations
  • *VCS refers to registered charities, charitable or not-for profit organisations, organisations set up as social enterprises (ie. businesses where profits are mainly invested for community benefit)
  • Looking for projects that:
    • Improved primary education for the most disadvantaged children
    • Improved health for the most disadvantaged people
    • Improved access to and use of natural resources to benefit the most disadvantaged people
    • Improved ability for the most disadvantaged people to exercise their human rights
    • Improved livelihoods for the most disadvantaged people by enabling communities in need, both rural and urban, to reduce poverty in a sustainable way

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“We want communities to be at the heart of the International Communities programme. We will fund effective projects that tackle the causes of poverty and deprivation and bring about a long-term difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged people in the world.”

Big Society Capital

Formally know as the Big Society Bank. Nick O’Donohoe, who spoke at TBN’s national conference in 2011, is a key player in the development of the fund. Not yet fully formed – we will inform when available.


Charity which supports social entrepreneurs by providing funding and support. Currently asking if they offer funding for non-UK projects

CAF Venturesome

This is a social investment fund offering support and capital for businesses that have been trading for at least a year. Packages of £20,000 to £350,000 are available in the form of loans and equity stakes.

Must be UK registered, have a clear charitable purpose and social impact (but not necessarily a registered charity), can give evidence of one year of income.

British Business Angels Association

Supporting angel and early stage investment. Brings together angel networks, private investors, early stage funds, professional advisors and entrepreneurs.

Comic Relief

Have UK as well as International grant making programmes.


Crowd-sourced investment

33 Needs

Similar to crowd sourcing. Connecting social entrepreneurs to micro-investors to promote “business-led solutions to the worlds needs.” Uses a campaign model where each campaign costs $50 and can last 30-90 days.

Impetus Trust

This trust offers ‘venture philanthropy’ – ie capacity-building funding. Funds may be in the form of a grant or loan or both and are usually between £200,000 and £500,000 paid out over three to five years.

Ashden Trust’s Social Investment Fund

This is run by the Sainsbury’s Family of Charitable Trusts and has options including loans and interest free loans for a variety of sums. Recently gave an interest free loan of £100,000 to a fairtrade business.

Social Enterprise Loan Fund

Provides loans for charities and social enterprises.

Big Issue Invest

Provides finance for social enterprises in the form of loans, participation loans (where repayment is linked to the future performance of the enterprise) and equity. Cash is between £50,000 and £500,000, but for bigger amounts, finance may be provided jointly with other social finance institutions. No grants offered.

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