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Social Enterprise Net Zero Transition Fund

SIS, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, is pleased to present the Social Enterprise Net Zero Transition Fund (NZTF), designed to support social enterprises and the wider third sector to make the transition to carbon net zero.

The purpose of the fund is to support these social sector organisations (SSO) in their journey to become carbon neutral, and to develop the circular economy. Through the fund, we are interested in supporting activities that will reduce carbon footprint.

Some examples of these activities are below. Please note this is not an exhaustive list and we are keen to see a range of activities come forward:

  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Developing or moving to renewable energy sources
  • Transitioning to sustainable transport options
  • Scaling local food production and supply
  • Minimising or re-purposing food waste
  • Developing circular economy products, services, processes and practices.

The fund provides loans from £10,000. SSO’s who have a particular circular economy focus or are proposing specific projects with a focus on re-use, repair and leasing/sharing models, may also be eligible for a small grant award.

Who is eligible for the loan?

To be eligible for a loan SSOs must satisfy the following requirements:

  • SSOs must generate a trading income that allows for Loan repayments.
  • Organisations must be based and operating in Scotland or for organisations that are not, the activity funded by NZTF must be delivering most of their impact in Scotland.
  • SSOs must be able to evidence their ambition to transition to a net zero model and / or
  • SSOs looking to establish or grow circular economy practices.

Who may be eligible for a small grant*?      

To be eligible for a small grant SSOs must be looking to establish or grow circular economy practices in re-use/repair/sharing activities – some examples are below:

  • Proposed project delivers new or additional re-use or repair activities that will achieve positive carbon benefits. The project must result in a carbon saving or add value to a
    ‘waste’ product or material
  • Strategic projects which address significant challenges and create transformational behaviour change, likely to require significant financing and partnerships.
  • Business growth and development of established reuse/repair/sharing activities (where projected sales and future income can be forecast).
  • Replication of existing working models of circular economy practices.

Please click on the following website link for more information regarding circular economy practices.

*Organisations must meet the ‘Subsidy control’ criteria (Please be aware that this support will be provided through Special Drawing Rights which allows a maximum of £322,000 available to a single business in a three-year period, including previous de minimis support that may have been received in the past three years.

What are the terms of the investment?

Investment from the Fund is intended to be as flexible as possible, and a bespoke investment package will be developed in partnership with you. However, as a guide, investments will have the following terms:

Amount: Minimum – £10,000 Maximum – £1,500,000

Interest rate: 3% Fixed

Term: Loans must be settled in full by 31st March 2031

Repayment: We will work with you to find an affordable and flexible package that works for you.

Security/Fees: No security or fees.

Grants: Some small Grants of up to 20% of the total funding amount may be available to organisations with a particular focus on projects that deliver new or additional re-use or repair activity that will achieve positive carbon benefits. The project must result in a carbon saving or add value to a ‘waste’ product or material.

Read the FAQ’s on the Net Zero Transition Fund

You can read our FAQ’s – Net Zero Transition Fund.

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply, please complete an Expression of Interest form here. This is a short form, which seeks to understand your Net Zero Transition plans and your plans for the funds. Please send your completed EOI form to with the requested supporting information.

EOI’s will then be reviewed by the SIS and ZWS teams. If you are invited to the next stage, you will be assigned an Investment Manager who will guide you through the process and the information we require for the next stage.