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The Catalyst Fund

Support provided by Firstport

What does this involve?

The Catalyst Fund is a new type of social investment that offers loans to social enterprises to help them start and grow their business.

The fund offers loans of £50,000 or more with a flexible, revenue-based repayment model. This means you'll only begin to pay back the loan once you've started to generate income.

All profits must be reinvested into your enterprise's aims. Profits should not be distributed to private individuals or companies.

You'll need to submit an expression of interest before you apply. Firstport will then advise you on the next steps for your organisation. In most cases, you'll need to meet with a Firstport investment and growth manager to discuss your organisation’s readiness to take on social investment.

After the meeting, you'll be asked to apply through the online application form if appropriate.

After you apply, Firstport will invite you to an assessment meeting with the Head of Investment. This meeting will take place by video or in person and provide a more in-depth opportunity to discuss your growth and investment plans.

After the meeting, your application will go to an independent investment committee to make the final decision.

Am I eligible?

Your social enterprise is eligible if:

  • it provides direct social benefit to individuals, communities or the environment
  • it's currently operating and can demonstrate its potential to generate income
  • there's evidence of its social impact
  • it reinvests its profits into the business and its social aims
  • you can demonstrate you've applied for other forms of funding before applying for this loan

What does this cost?

The Catalyst Fund offers a flexible repayment model. 

You'll begin to pay back the loan after you've started to generate revenue.

The monthly repayment amount will be based on the revenue you've earned. 

Who is this for?

Social enterprises in Scotland that could have significant social impact but are unable to get social investment from other sources.

How long does this take?

Firstport will contact you within 3 days of receiving your expression of interest form.

They aim to provide you with a decision within 8 weeks of the date you submitted your application.

Important information

Firstport does not fund social enterprises whose main activities are directed at providing benefit to other organisations.

Next steps

Visit the Firstport website for more information and to download an expression of interest form.

Support provided by Firstport