Start & Grow offers investment packages of between £10,000 and £60,000 to enable social enterprises and community organisations to start-up, develop and expand. All Start & Grow investments are made up of one third grant and two thirds loan. Loans are repayable over up to five years and are charged at a fixed interest rate of base rate (currently 0.5%) plus 6%.
Investments can be used for both revenue and capital costs (including set-up). You must demonstrate that as a result of our investment your organisation will create or maintain employment or training opportunities in your area.
Why should I choose Start & Grow?
- Provides investment that allows things to happen now
- Simple application process
- No security required
- On-going support
- No arrangement fees
Read about our Start & Grow Investees
How do I apply?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the deadlines for applying to Start & Grow?
There are no deadlines for applying, Start & Grow is a rolling programme. Your application will be fully assessed and if it is recommended for investment it will be presented to the next available decision making panel.
The decision making panel meets every two months.
Why are you providing a combined loan and grant award?
Resilient Scotland Ltd recognises that there is a gap in the market in Scotland for a grant and loan mix of smaller amounts, from a lender willing to take risks on new and developing enterprises. We hope that this fund will enable organisations to test their use of debt finance to realise other development opportunities and investments in the future.
Does the Fund provide grants alone or just grants with loans?
Applicants to Start & Grow cannot receive a grant without also taking out a loan.
What will the interest rate on my loan be?
The interest rate will be set at the base rate + 6% (fixed for the term of the loan). This is competitive when considered alongside other social finance available in the current market.
What is a social enterprise?
A social enterprise can be a Company Limited by Guarantee with an appropriate “asset lock” and social purpose; it could also be a registered charity. Common types of social enterprises are Co-operatives, Community Interest Companies (CICs), Development Trusts, Credit Unions and Housing Associations.
We define social enterprises as businesses with social and/or environmental objectives whose surpluses are reinvested in the business or in the community instead of maximising profit for shareholders and owners.
What is an asset lock or a charitable dissolution clause?
An asset lock restricts the transfer of company assets. Community Interest Companies (CICs) must have an asset lock. This means that the CIC cannot generally transfer its profits or assets for less than their full market value except as permitted by regulation. It will also protect any remaining assets for the community if you dissolve the CIC. Your constitution (also referred to as your governing document, Articles or Trust Deed depending on the type of organisation) must include a clause that sets out what you need to do in the event of a decision to wind up or dissolve the organisation. Your dissolution clause will need to be worded so that it demonstrates your compliance with charity legislation and/or Company Law, depending on how your organisation is incorporated. To be able to apply for investment the governing documents must state that the organisations assets would be transferred to another body for community or charitable use should it be wound-up or dissolved.
What do you mean by social and environmental objectives?
The Bike Station now operating in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth, is Scotland’s largest bicycle recycling organisation. It takes in nearly 10,000 old and discarded bikes every year. Every bike donated supports its work promoting cycling as well as reducing waste going to landfill. This is a good example of an organisation driven by strong environmental objectives (and we are sure the Bike Station team would have a lot to say about their social objectives too).
Can I apply if my organisation is based outside the 13 local authority areas in which the Fund operates?
This is possible in certain circumstances. For example, if you are proposing to start up a new enterprise or extend an existing activity which will create or sustain employment in one of the 13 areas you may be able to apply even if your main operational base is elsewhere. If you have answered “yes” to all the eligibility checklist questions but still have doubts about whether you can apply you should contact us to discuss these in more detail.
Do we have to own a property in order to be able to apply for grants or loans to cover costs such as refurbishment?
Are there any associated fees, i.e. legal fees?
There are no arrangement fees or legal fees in the normal course of making the loan and grant. In some cases, where particular conditions are imposed, the applicant may have to seek legal or other advice and this may incur a cost.
Can we pay back the loan early and if so, do we have to pay a penalty for doing so?
You may repay the loan early and there are no penalties or fees for doing so. You may make larger payments than the agreed monthly payments, but these must be of £250 or multiples thereof.
What happens if I miss a loan repayment?
If you anticipate any problems with making your monthly repayments, you should contact the Resilient team as soon as possible. We will discuss your particular situation and be flexible in our approach to helping you overcome any financial or cash flow problems if possible.
Are there any conditions precedent such as security and ranking agreements?
All Start & Grow loans are unsecured. In the event that there is other unsecured borrowing (for example, Directors loans), we may ask for a Letter of Postponement to give us comfort that the repayment of the Start & Grow loan will be given priority.
Are there any undertakings, i.e. conditions by which we need to supply accounts, governance changes etc.?
You will be required to submit information on an ongoing basis as part of our monitoring process. This will be different for each applicant, but is likely to be very ‘light touch’ unless the investment is considered to be very high risk. For example, we would ask for submission of an annual monitoring form to report against your outcomes (as stated on your application) and submission of annual accounts.
You are required to inform us of any changes in governance during the repayment term.
Why do we have to provide proof that we have not been able to secure lending from a bank or other commercial lender?
Resilient Scotland’s JESSICA Fund seeks to fill the gap that exists in funding for organisations seeking to move into debt finance but unable to secure lending from a bank. If you have questions about what this means, or what constitutes a refusal, please contact us to discuss.