Loans & Social Investment

What is social investment?

Social investment is loan (borrowed money) funding or sometimes a mix of grant & loan for businesses – called blended finance. Social investors like to lend to social or environmental enterprises. The loan must be paid back & each investor will agree with you how.


Tips - Getting ready for social investment

• Read case studies/stories on the social investors websites - information, inspiration, learning.

• Good governance - how the trustees / Board of directors run the organisation is essential - proven good leadership is key to accessing loans - most enterprises fail because of poor leadership and governance.

• Be clear about why you need the loan (market, demand) & how the money will be used to make a difference to the community and how you will repay the loan.

• Think about any risks and how you would remove or minimise these .

• Other funding or income have or will you secure - shows commitment.

• Let the investor know your strengths and skills in running an enterprise.

• Refused a loan? Social Investors are happy to offer feedback.

• Refusal from one social investor does not mean others will refuse.

• Have realistic financial projections – investors understand that enterprises often do not show a profit at the early stages including the first year.

• Ask for help if you need it.

• Try this “Is it right for us” tool via Good Finance

• Helpful article explaining social investment Beyond Grants webinar resources (


Islamic or Shari’ah Finance

The moral principles many Muslims live their lives by are sometimes known as the ‘Shari’ah’.

Shariah finance is based on a belief that money shouldn’t have any value in itself – it is just a way to exchange products and services that do have a value.

Central to Islamic finance is the fact that money itself has no intrinsic value. As a matter of faith, a Muslim cannot lend money to, or receive money from someone and expect to benefit – interest (known as riba) is not allowed. To make money from money is forbidden – wealth can only be generated through legitimate trade and investment in assets. Money must be used in a productive way. In order to be Sharia compliant, money must be used in a productive way.

Anyone can use Islamic finance products and services.

Read – Understanding Sharia finance by Good Finance

Listen - podcast about a Sharia financed service / project here


List of social investment organisations

Loans and investment-based funding to address social issues including inequalities & poverty.

Minimum loan £50,000 for new customers.

Loans for social & environmental issues.

Loans from £50,000 to £250,000 with a guide interest rate of around 7%. Via WCVA: Social business based in Wales who want to expand, purchase an asset ( e.g. a building). Aim to lend where others will not.

Loans for the co-operative and social enterprise sector.

Rates are competitive and don’t require personal guarantees.

Loans for the co-operative and social enterprise sector.

Rates are competitive and don’t require personal guarantees.

Loans up to £300,000

Via WCVA , Funded by Welsh Government. Loan finance for groups looking to bring property into community ownership. CALF can fund up to 100% of the property value

Loans range £1k to £10m over terms of up to 15 years with fixed interest rates.

Loans for any size of business at any stage - start-ups and growing businesses, to succession transactions including employee buy-outs.

The Development Bank of Wales was set up by the Welsh Government to support the economy of Wales by making it easier for businesses to get the finance needed to start up, strengthen and grow.

Loans between £50,000 and £1,500,000

Help to fast growth early-stage social businesses to grow their impact. It aims to make social investment better for founders from underrepresented backgrounds and their teams.

Loans £30,000 to £750,000

Social & Community Capital (SCC) is a charity funded & supported by NatWest to help social enterprises. SCC offer alternative funding to business charities and social enterprises who don't qualify for mainstream loans. 

Loans of £1,000 to £25,000 are available.

The amount depends on your business plan. Provides business, personal, social enterprise and home improvement loans across Wales.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) Social Investment Cymru (SIC) financially supports social enterprises in Wales with a range of grants and loans.

Minimum loan £250,000. Supports businesses/ organisations addressing positive social, economic or environmental needs.


Please contact us if you need more information or advice


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