A Hastings social enterprise is the first in the UK to benefit from the newly-created Community Impact Partnership (CIP) fund.
The Work People is an employment, training and advice service, and has benefited from £107,000 to take its business to the next stage of its development.
David Hinton, founder and managing director, said: “Our mission is for everyone to have good working lives. We work with businesses to find great people for great jobs while putting our profits and expertise back into the community to help everyone live and work better.
“We started in April 2013 and our services have proved very successful – last year we helped 1,600 candidates with careers advice and over 400 people complete pre-employment training. We now want to take our plans onto the next level which we can do thanks to the Community Impact Partnership funding.”
The fund – broken down into a blended investment of a £69,500 loan and a £37,500 grant – will provide The Work People with much needed capital to support its ongoing growth and development, particularly in the areas of management capacity, digital and data analytics.
The CIP is a funding initiative set up by four of the UK’s leading housing organisations - Clarion Housing Group, L&Q, Orbit and the Peabody Group – who have joined forces to offer unsecured loans of between £25,000 and £150,000 to social enterprises and charitable organisations.
It is the first joint venture of its kind in the UK housing sector and is launching its first £3m social investment fund which will boost communities and support local regeneration. This first £3m fund is supported by the Growth Fund which is managed by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment with funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital. The blended investment funding combines loans and grants. Interest for the loans is set at 7% and successful applicants will also benefit from advice and support services from the CIP members.
Penny Hembrow, chairman of the Community Impact Partnership, said: “All four housing groups involved in this partnership already provide £30m worth of community investment through grants and services to support the communities they serve. But by coming together, through Community Impact Partnership, they can now provide a new form of finance to help those communities even further.
“Our vision is to provide finance to those enterprises with a social mission who plan to take their businesses to the next level. We want to provide the right finance and support at the right time as organisations grow and move to their next stage.”
“The funding here will continue to help so many more people in Hastings secure training and find employment through services which they would not otherwise have had access to.”
More information about the CIP is available at www.communityimpactpartnership.co.uk.