Key Fund is a team of like-minded individuals offering social investment in the form of loan/grant blends. We’re dedicated to supporting new social enterprises, creating new jobs, and reinvigorating communities.
Our story began in South Yorkshire in 1999. Hit by the collapse of coal and steel industries, we wanted to find new ways of breathing life back into our neighbourhoods – to support new enterprises, create jobs and bolster these once proud communities. And so, Key Fund was formed by a group of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Our central mission is to provide finance – flexible loans and grant/loan packages – to help community and social enterprises to start up, become sustainable, or grow. It’s not just about the money. It’s also about providing the right kind of support to help our investees have the best possible chance of success.
We invest in community and social enterprises that have traditionally been excluded; turned down by mainstream banks and building societies. Particularly those in disadvantaged areas. Key Fund believes in the power of people to find solutions to the challenges facing their communities.
Our mission is to remove barriers to finance. Our investees have one crucial thing in common – the ambition to build and strengthen local communities.
Key Fund receives funding from several partners that support the growth of social impact and enterprise.
Key Fund’s North West based Investment Manager covers the whole of Lancashire.
What one top tip would you give to a business owner embarking on a growth plan?
Supporting social enterprises as we do each day, we see hugely valuable activity, with organisations delivering social impact from family emotional support, to food banks and the circular economy, to holidays and days services for those in need, and so much more.
The most successful of these are the ones who maintain strong business foundations to support the daily difference they make – for example, monitoring cash flow, understanding the financial position, good governance, close links to clients and customers, a robust support network, regular, targeted marketing activity. So by all means focus on delivery – but support it via sound knowledge of your business.
Why is Lancashire a great place to grow a business?
Lancashire has something for everyone – rural and urban locations that make for great business settings, a rich diversity of sectors including industry, tourism, engineering and more, and close-knit communities from villages to cities to seaside towns.
Close to two of the UK’s major cities, yet with its own unique character, Lancashire is home to life-changing social enterprises and has potential for so much more to happen.
Why are you backing Boost Business Lancashire?
Boost Business Lancashire is an excellent source of varied support for any business looking to start up expand and diversify. The need for these local support networks is greater now more than ever.
There is great synergy between the work of Boost and the support that Key Fund provides to the third sector including charities, voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises and cooperatives.