Key Fund

Member Article

Social enterprises unite to offer access to finance

A circle of three social enterprises have entered a ground-breaking partnership to offer solutions for people unable to access finance.

The partnership, the first of its kind, is led by recycling social enterprise, Doncaster Refurnish. Refurnish will deliver credit facilities using the expertise of the not-for-profit lender, Moneyline, to those vulnerable to expensive loans or turned down by mainstream banks.

The Key Fund, Britain’s largest regional Community Development Finance Institution specialising in the social economy market, unlocked the finance to make the scheme a reality with a £150k loan.

Refurnish offers low cost furniture in disadvantaged areas and will use its outreach expertise to reach those at risk.

Andy Simpson, CEO of Refurnish, said: “This venture is part of our on-going growth and commitment to help those in the communities we serve. It demonstrates that working in partnership in difficult times can make a significant social impact.”

Doncaster Refurnish was named the Key Fund’s Top Social Enterprise in 2012. It was created in response to the lack of affordable furniture for disadvantaged people and the vast amounts of reusable furniture being buried in landfill.

Last year, Refurnish made 13,309 collections of bulky household waste, received 125 shipments of retailer waste, diverted 504 tonnes from landfill and supported 10,500 individuals and families with the proceeds.

Moneyline is a not for profit Industrial and Provident Society that has opened more than 12,000 saving accounts and delivered over 50,000 loans.

It has offices in East Lancashire, Wales, Staffordshire, Merseyside, Manchester and Lincolnshire and offers small loans to those struggling to borrow or vulnerable to high cost lenders.

Ian Clough, CEO, at Moneyline said: “Moneyline is a social business. We lend money, unsecured, to people ignored and unwanted by mainstream lenders. We are proud to be working in partnership with Refurnish helping to forge positive social change for those most in need.

“Being unable to access appropriate financial services is a huge problem, and as mainstream lenders are not stepping up for those on the edge, it’s crucial there is a lifeline to safeguard our communities and act responsibly.”

Moneyline, which launched in 2002, received the “Credit Today” Responsible Lender of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Key Fund .

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