27 Feb 2013

A new fund will make £1m available in small loans to support the growth of social enterprise in Wales.

The Wales Micro-business Loan Fund is investing a total of £6m to support small and medium sized enterprises over the next five years - with £1m ear-marked for the third sector.

The Fund was launched this month by the Welsh Government through Finance Wales and the social enterprise element will be managed by WCVA in partnership with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Cardiff & Vale Credit Union (representing ABCUL Credit Unions).

Loans of between £1,000 and £20,000 will be made to third sector organisations looking to develop their revenue generating activities.

WCVA Chief Executive Graham Benfield said: 'We are delighted that Finance Wales has made £1m of this Fund available for social enterprise in Wales.

'Alongside the Communities Investment Fund and our recently launched Property Loan Fund with Unity Trust Bank, there is now a complete range of small, medium and large sized loan finance packages specific to the third sector in Wales through WCVA.

'We envisage this Fund making around 100 small loans over the next five years and finance of this nature will have a big impact on supporting the growth of organisations and safeguarding services in difficult economic conditions.

'Social enterprise is a growing movement that is creating jobs, prosperity and social justice. It's important in Wales that these enterprises flourish so that they can continue to invest in local people and communities.'

Spokesperson for ABCUL Credit Unions, Alun Taylor, added: 'This is a unique opportunity for Credit Unions in Wales to enter the business loan finance market for the first time to help grow local economies and achieve sustainable growth.'

Mike Owen, New Investments Fund Manager at Finance Wales commented: 'The Wales Micro-business Loan Fund has made a significant amount of additional investment capital available to Wales' third sector. WCVA is a well-regarded organisation with a strong track record and it is well-placed to help Wales' social enterprises make the most of the loans on offer from the Fund.'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Fund will be open until 2018 with maximum loan repayment terms of five years.

To find out more about the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund, contact the WCVA Helpdesk on 0800 2888 329 or microfund@wcva.org.uk.

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