Loans for Social Enterprises

The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) is a blended loan and grant fund.

KSELF is a social lending programme, aiming to bridge the increasing funding gap for new and existing social enterprises in Kent and Medway, by offering unsecured loans of between £10,000 and £100,000. The financial package will include an element of up to 30% grant of the loan amount.

The aim of the Fund is to spread the culture of social enterprise, break down the barriers which prevent enterprising social businesses from accessing finance and encourage a more enterprising approach to achieving positive change in our communities. Once finance is repaid, it will be re-loaned and re-invested back in the community.

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 which form a significant part of income
  • Assets and/or profits used and retained for the benefit of the community
  • Specific power to borrow

A wide variety of organisational structures can apply including charities, community interest companies, companies limited by guarantee, industrial and provident societies. The Fund will not provide finance to individuals, unincorporated entities or private/statutory sector organisations.

Key attributes of the Fund:

  • Blended loan/grant of between £10,000 to £100,000
  • The potential of a grant of up 30% of the loan amount
  • Term of between 1 and 5 years
  • Unsecured facility
  • Support with initial and ongoing financial planning
  • Flexible and tailored packages
  • Fixed rates and terms – flat interest rate of 5%
  • Funds reinvested in the sector
  • Investment readiness and support which will be provided by Kent Community Foundation’s Investment Fund Manager

Application process

  1. Initial Enquiry: If you are a Social Enterprise interested in applying for a loan, contact or phone 01303 815153.
  2. 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 (we can help with this).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Case study: Medway Plus

At Let's Talk Good Finance in Rochester, charity Medway Plus CEO Peter Vogel talks about their experience of taking on our social enterprise loan. Listen to hear what the process involved for them and the opportunities it brought their charity - including how it helped them be more sustainable and the additional support they got beyond the money.

For further information, please email James Horne, Investment Funds Manager01303 815


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.

Kent County Council logo
Big Lottery Fund logo
Big Society Capital logo
Access logo

The scheme, delivered by Kent Community Foundation, was originally established with funding from Kent County Council in 2012. Further funding from Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital, managed by Access was injected in 2017. 

 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 £1.5 million.

Alongside the loan from Kent Community Foundation we also received a lot of support and mentoring for where we could take the charity in terms of developing the services that we offered. The mentoring and support we got made us think wider and into the long-term and helped us to take that leap of faith in borrowing the money, knowing what we could do with it made a huge difference, not just to us as a charity, but to how I felt personally as the Director taking the charity forward.

Katrina Adams, Operations Director – We are Beams

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind
We have had an update... There is a major outage across the area due to damage to a major cable. If you need to ge…
We are experiencing problems with our phone lines and internet connection. We apologise if you have had any problem…
Do you know an adult #carer in need of a respite break from their long term caring responsibilities? The Grassroots…