Monday, November 4, 2013

News: Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Programme

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The Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Programme is seeking to attract private investors now that its EU backed grants and loans programme launched last year has become established.

The programme has been created by the Community Foundations in Leeds, Calderdale and South Yorkshire, in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Key Fund. It has been designed to stimulate and support the growth of social enterprise in the region and promote a strong, local economy.

In 16 months, £300,000 in grants has been provided to 44 social enterprises in Yorkshire and applications have been received from more than another 100.

Sally-Anne Greenfield chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation, said: "We are now appealing to business people and investors to consider supporting social enterprises with either financial investment or expertise. There is a huge variety of enterprises ranging from those providing employment for disabled and disadvantaged people, to recycling and print businesses, housing, and community arts and leisure facilities.

"We believe social enterprise has an important role to play in tackling important social and environment issues here in Yorkshire. Not only does it play a key role in bolstering the economy, it is also a method of creating jobs in the areas where they are needed most."

The YVP investment programme offers a variety of methods for investors to get involved including partnerships involving special funds, to investment opportunities and donations to particular enterprises.

The programme involves providing social enterprises with practical support as well as small grants up to £5,000 to support the development of enterprising ideas and plans and a combined grant/loan scheme for investments up to £100,000 to support well developed business plans.

Nationally social enterprise is one of the more dynamic sectors of the economy and is driving real economic growth as well as making a contribution to local communities; 58 per cent of social enterprises grew last year compared to 28 per cent of SMEs.

Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Programme website

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