Forward Enterprise Fund: reflecting on a year of success and looking to the future
Thursday 25 July 2019

The Forward Enterprise Fund is a pioneering initiative providing loans and business support to charities and enterprises that help break the cycle of crime or addiction through employment. The fund is now in its second year and is delivered by The Forward Trust and Social Investment Business (SIB).


In the last year, the Fund made loans to four enterprises and supported a further 20 organisations through the Crowdfunding scheme and business support.

Find out more about how the Fund helped to get digital agency Pink Umbrella Studios off the ground.

This year, the Fund is seeking to build upon its initial success by fine-tuning the support offered. We will do this by in the following areas:

  • The loan scheme will now be available to enterprises who have been trading for at least six months and are looking to grow
  • Business support will be available to any enterprises who are eligible for loans but need additional support to prepare their application
  • For those enterprises not ready for a loan, support will be available in the form of the Crowdfunder match scheme. This will help new enterprises to raise their profile, as well as generate support and funds

To help solidify and expand the success of the Fund, the Forward Trust has employed its first ever Enterprise Coach, Stephen Anderson. Stephen is an experienced enterprise advisor who will project manage the Fund as well as support The Forward Trust’s wider Employment Services Division by providing employability, vocational training and skills services to learners and clients.

Stephen will also oversee a programme of workshops and seminars for new start-ups and oversee the Forward Enterprise Network (FEN). FEN is a collective of enterprises employing ex-offenders and people in recovery which aims to show mainstream businesses and the general public the value of people from those groups.

Find out more about the FEN.

If you are an enterprise looking for support, an enterprise agency, a Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), a New Enterprise Allowance Provider or a Job Centre Plus and are interested in finding out more, please email