Frequently asked questions

The complete guidance document for applicants is available for download below. If you have a particular question that is not addressed in the guidance, please contact the fund hotline.

When will the Fund open for applications?

The fund is currently not accepting applications for grants or providers and further updates will be provided in the coming months.

How do I apply for a grant?

1. Social ventures will need to first assess if they are eligible to apply the Fund.

2. Ventures then find a suitable approved provider, or ensure that their preferred provider applies for approval.  

3. Ventures and providers can then download the application pack and will need to work jointly on the application.

Completed applications should be submitted to

When should organisations apply?

Applications for approval from Investment and Contract Readiness providers and for funding from social ventures are accepted on a rolling basis.  The fund will remain open for applications from April 2012 to at least September 2013. 

The investor panel meets regularly (normally every two weeks) and we expect to be able to give either a decision or a request for further information for complete and eligible applications within three to four weeks of receipt of applications. 

The Fund is explicitly designed to encourage all applicants to submit when applications are complete and to enable SIB and the Investor Panel to process them in an efficient and effective way.

Details of approved providers will be added to this site as soon as possible after the panel give their approval and providers have returned a signed copy of the participating agreement which governs the ICRF s relationship with providers. 

The Fund may restrict applications to themed calls at certain points in the year. Please see more details about our themed calls.

Is there a different application process for ventures and providers?

Ventures and approved providers will have to work in partnership to submit a single grant application to the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund. Ventures and providers will be able to apply for a grant from 21 May 2012. 

Providers will be required to apply for approval before they are eligible to participate in the Fund. Applications for approval are now open. 

How do I find an approved provider?

The most recent list of approved providers is now available. You are welcome to browse the profiles of the available providers and contact them speculatively to discuss working together.

How do repayable awards for this fund work?

From April 2013, all investment readiness awards over 75,000 will be subject to repayment clauses.

1.    Applied to investment readiness grants, not contract readiness grants

2.    Applied to investment readiness grants over 75,000

3.    Amount repayable = 25% of the total grant

4.    Repayable amount capped at 3.5% of the amount raised

5.    The repayable elements becomes payable when investment is raised and received by the venture.  It is repayable in one tranche at raise.

6.    The repayability condition may be waived if a sufficiently strong case is made in support of the application that the amount or the liability would significantly impair the ability of the venture to raise investment.

7.    The repayability condition may be waived or only applied to a proportion of the ICRF grant.

8.    The liability to repay is time limited for 3 years from the grant signature date.

9.    From 1 April 2013, ICRF will require a condition of contingency on raising investment in the contract between provider and venture which should be at least equal to 10% of the provider income agreed in the ICRF budget (but may be more)

10.  Executed by seeking a warrant from both the venture and provider that a contingent arrangement fulfilling these conditions is in place

11.  In order to prevent applications being skewed towards contract readiness plans, contract readiness grants will be capped at 75,000 from applications received after 1 April 2013 unless a specific and well-made case is made in the application. 

12.  The Investor Panel will retain the right to apply repayable elements to contract readiness plans 

13.  From 1 April 2013, the ICRF will create an incentive award for volume of investment secured.  Any provider that helps one or several ventures secure investment of 5m or more in the 12 month period from 1 April 2013 till 31 March 2014 will receive an additional 50,000 bonus award.

Download the complete FAQ