Blended Finance – Grant + Loan

Flexible Finance Fund

Create Equity has partnered with Social Investment Business to help deliver a £4m fund for BAME-led social enterprises based in England.

Company Status

 registered charity or social enterprise




51% or more of the organisation’s board & senior management team must be from Black and Minoritised ethnic backgrounds

Minimum turnover

£200k in last financial year


Minimum £50k loan with a grant ranging from 50% to 100% of the total loan amount.

Prior loans

Your organisation must not have received repayable finance greater than £25k, excluding Bounce Back Loans

Sitting alongside the Recovery Loan Fund managed by Social Investment Business, this fund is for Black and Minoritised Ethnicity-led organisations eligible to receive grant funding alongside a loan.

Additional Support

Create Equity is available to support Black and Racially Minoritised applicants pre and post application. We bring our networks, expertise and understanding to the programme, and we can support in the application process. This includes guidance in writing a strong application, as well as working with organisations to gather information needed before the Investment Committee. We are also available to provide ongoing support for additional advice, or to answer questions during and post support.

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Submit your expression of interest below

Please take note of the eligibility criteria above. This funding opportunity is open to BAME-led organisations, operating in England, which have a charitable or social enterprise status and a minimum annual turnover of £200k.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the social enterprise registration mean/include?
You must be an incorporated voluntary, community or social enterprise organisation, based in and delivering social/ environmental impact in England. You must also be registered in England as either a Charity, Community Interest Company or Community Benefit Society or, if you are another type of legal entity, you must have a social object, asset lock and restriction on profit distribution (must distribute less than 50% of post-tax profits) written into your governing documents. You must also have a viable borrowing request (that can reasonably be expected to meet its repayment obligations).
What groups do Black and Racially Minoritised ethnic include?
The Black and Racially Minoritised grouping covers everyone outside the category ‘White British’ (i.e., White English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish). Groups classified as Black and Racially Minoritised include people identifying as Asian / Asian British; Black / African / Caribbean / Black British; White Irish or Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller; mixed or multiple ethnic groups; Arab or Latinx; or any other ‘non-White’ British category.
What types of projects/costs does this fund offer to finance?
Anything that benefits the community you operate in. It’s an unrestricted fund, so the funding could be used to take on more staff, undertake building work or increase capacity through new projects for example.
Can you explain further how the combined loan/grant (blended finance) works and what the process is?
The product you are applying for is the Recovery Loan Fund with the addition of Flexible Finance. The Grant can match up to 100% of loan amount (capped at £200k) and you can apply for however much you think is needed. Your Relationship Manager will work with you to create an application that reflects that need.
Is the funding received as a lump sum or staggered?

The grant is dispersed as a lump sum alongside the drawdown of the Loan. It is not usually staggered in any way.

Can I have a grant without the loan?
No. The fund offers loan funding, with a grant that sits alongside the loan to help make it more accessible and affordable for Black and Racially Minoritised charities and social enterprises. The fund is not intended to provide standalone grant funding.
What does the review process entail?
We will perform due diligence on all applications in areas including financial performance and ability to repay the loan, scope of delivery and social impact, strength of your governance and management arrangements.

Once due diligence is completed and the team are satisfied all criteria is met, your application will be passed onto the Investment Committee. They are an independent group that check all of our applications for funding. This is the final step before receiving funding.

I want to use the funding to refinance existing debt, is this allowed?
What does incorporated mean?
The organisation is registered as a legal entity e.g. a company and can take out contracts and borrowing in its own name.
Is anything ineligible?

The following sectors are ineligible:

  • Deposit taking Banks and EEA Banks;
  • Building Societies;
  • Insurers (other than insurance brokers);
  • Public sector organisations (as classified by the Office of National Statistics);
  • State funded primary or secondary schools.
Will the fund lend alongside other lenders?
The fund can make loans alongside other lenders or grant providers. However, consideration will be given to how the overall investment will affect an organisation’s financial position and its ability to repay the loan element.
What should I expect when completing the application form?
The application is relatively straight forward. It collects mostly contact information and organisation data. It doesn’t have lots of free text questions.
You will be asked to select a partner to assess your application and, if applicable, present it to the funds investment committee for a decision (see below). You will also be asked to provide your last 2 sets of approved accounts (showing figures for 3 years, if available), latest set of management accounts, and 12-month cashflow forecast for the current  financial  year.

The application should take approximately 15 minutes to complete if you have all information to hand. You can save the application and resume later, if needed. Once submitted you will receive an auto acknowledgement email with a PDF copy of your application attached. We will be in touch a few days after you have submitted.

When can I expect to receive a response about my application?
When we receive your application we aim to make initial contact within three working days, however during exceptionally busy times it can be up to five-seven working days.
Our registered address is different from our main premises – is that a problem?
That’s fine.

Get in touch with the team to discuss the Flexible Finance Funding opportunity

Have you completed Create Equity’s Funding Pathway quiz and want to explore this opportunity further?

Create Equity supports enterprises through the application process, ensuring candidates are investment ready.

Get in touch with the team to start the conversation.

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