The Real Farming Trust have launched LEAP (Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme). The A Team Foundation are proud investors of this programme, along with the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation, and CIVA. Together, we understand the inherent challenges that agroecological food and farming enterprises face in raising finance.
LEAP is designed to create a way of filling that gap between grant and commercial funding by:
working closely with businesses to understand the situation
looking at both financial performance and social impact
working together through every step of the application process
helping organisations to build long-term sustainability.
The Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme (LEAP) offers a mix of affordable loans and grants, side by side with a comprehensive mentoring programme and hands on approach.
LEAP is a new model for financing and supporting food and farming enterprises that puts people and the biosphere at the heart of our food system. LEAP will provide a critical next step for community based agroecological enterprises that have relied on grant funding to date and who have had nowhere to go to finance their onward development.
What does leap offer?
Unsecured loans for a 5-year term
For amounts of between £25,000 and £100,000
Can be used for capital or revenue costs
LEAP offers one of the lowest interest rates in the social investment marketplace. This is currently set at 5%, and is calculated on a declining balance, equal instalments basis.
To help cover the costs of running the programme, there is a one-off chargeable fee, which will be taken from the loan when drawn down. This is currently set at 2% of the loan amount.
Side by side with the loan, recipients will be offered a grant at 18% of the loan amount. So, for a £50,000 loan, the recipient will be awarded a grant of £9,000. By providing a grant with the loan LEAP hopes to alleviate the administrative burden on the individuals and free them up to concentrate on impact delivery and long-term sustainability. The grants have been kindly supplied by The Halleria Trust.
Business advice and support:
A key component of the LEAP is a tailored and structured mentoring package to ensure that they are ready take on a loan. This is termed ‘investment readiness’. The structure and focus of this support will vary from one organisation to another, but could be in areas such as business planning, financial modelling, governance, social impact delivery, community finance or marketing. The business mentorship is kindly funded by Power to Change.
If this sounds like something that could help you and your business, then please head to the website using the link below. On their site, you can find out more about this game-changing programme and how to apply.