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East Midlands Chamber News

£1m for Nottingham businesses with heart

Jon DentonKey Fund, a UK investor in community and social enterprises, has joined forces with Nottingham City Council to create a £1m fund for the region.

The Nottingham Social Impact Fund supports the development of new and existing social businesses, jobs and growth, offering loans from £5,000 to £150,000.

Jon Denton, Key Fund’s Lead Investment Officer for the East Midlands, said: “Many people aren’t aware that there is an alternative to mainstream investors. We’re keen to invest in people and businesses who want to make a profit and a difference in the city. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand and struggling to find investment, then we can help.”

Jon added: “The fund is open to all types of organisations, you just need to convince us that your business really does have a social heart by telling us what you intend to do and how you’ll do it.”

All Key Fund clients have been turned down by mainstream investors because they don’t fit their lending criteria. Key Fund has directly invested over £40m since inception in 1999, with an enviable track record in business success and an average loss rate of only 4.4% - despite its investments being higher risk on paper.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “Profitability shouldn’t be at the expense of people or the planet.

"Nowadays, progressive and forward thinking entrepreneurs are embedding socially-focused cultures into their business and helping to make a difference in their communities. We believe that making a profit and a difference in people’s lives is not only ‘business for good’ but ‘good for business’, which is why Nottingham City Council is thrilled to be joining forces with the UK’s leading social investor, Key Fund.”

The Nottingham Social Impact Fund believes community and social enterprises not only reignite local economies but are best-placed to tackle social problems, from community-owned pubs, social care services, high-tech renewable energy solutions and recycling schemes.

Jon added: “We’ve enabled thousands of people and organisations to help their communities to take control of their own future, but we want to help more – big or small.”