Social Enterprise Development and Investment Support

The social enterprise development and investment support that makes up the Local Access Programme is provided by several local partners. Read below to find out about the support currently on offer. 

Then, get in touch with us to discuss how you can get involved in the programme. 





Support Available

Voscur’s 18-month programme has three strands, with VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) organisations invited to engage with: 

  • Advice and support from Voscur in growing a sustainable social enterprise. 
  • Peer Support & Learning: The opportunity to work with an experienced social enterprise leader. 
  • A Leadership Programme: Personal leadership training to empower and build your capacity as a leader. Find out more here

Social Investment 

This programme of advice, support and learning prepares organisations to apply for a social investment loan through the Bristol Local Access Programme. Social investment loans provide the stepping stone to enable and accelerate growth and are especially tailored to small to medium-sized social enterprise organisations who may not have taken this type of finance before. 

Who's it for?

The Voscur Social Enterprise Development programme is accessible and inclusive to a wide range of organisations. To be eligible your organisation should be: 

  • Based in the West of England (Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, or South Gloucestershire), 
  • Trading/generating income with a primarily social purpose, designed to benefit society and/or the environment, and 
  • Constituted, with a bank account, a Board of at least two unrelated directors/trustees and an Asset Lock in place. 

We especially welcome applications from organisations which are led by and work with communities experiencing inequalities, who are currently underrepresented as enterprise leaders. 

Get in touch


In response to the barriers to finance experienced by ACH’s service users, ACH designed and are launching a project issuing small business financing. This project is accessible to any Bristol-based social enterprise organisation seeking to grow their business. 

Working with the Bristol Local Access Programme, ACH can offer financing of between £500 and £50,000 to businesses with a social impact.

The investment will operate on a profit-share principle, so the finance is not interest bearing.

The launch date for this programme will be confirmed in due course but is estimated for Spring 2023, with the programme running through until 2026.

Bristol & Bath Regional Capital logo

Bristol & Bath Regional Capital

As a delivery partner and accountable body for the Local Access Programme, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) expanded the reach of City Funds to act as a bridge between grant funding and mainstream investment and so, ensure that enterprises from communities experiencing inequality are able to access social investment.

BBRC provide repayable finance that unlocks new possibilities in areas of enterprise such as: housing, economic inclusion, environmental, transformation, community resilience and health & wellbeing.

Visit the BBRC website here.

Black South West Network Logo

Black South West Network

BSWN have been running a Social Enterprise Incubator programme for people with strong new social enterprise ideas, and those who have existing enterprises with strong social impact at their heart. They have been working with social startups to help identify and connect with their market, and get their business out there. For established ambitious social enterprises they have supported with learning about and understanding new markets, driving new growth. The Social Enterprise Incubator Programme has included: 

  • A customised programme to support start up or growth
  • 1-1 Mentoring for enterprises
  • Access to investment and funding information & support
  • Desk space at the Social Enterprise Incubator at the Coach House
  • Networking events to help build networks
  • Learning with like-minded people

Applications for this support are now closed, but visit the BSWN website to be inspired with stories of those who have been involved in the programme so far.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) has been providing free workshops, one-to-one support with grants, and bursaries for individuals, social enterprises, charities, and community businesses in South Bristol, as part of the South Bristol Enterprise Support Programme.

Applications for this support are now closed, but visit the South Bristol Enterprise Support website to be inspired with stories of those who have been involved in the programme so far.