Stepping Stones Relaunches


On April 11th, CBT relaunched its Stepping Stones Fund, an award-winning social-investment readiness grants programme delivered in partnership with UBS. The good news is that this time around, applications will be considered on a rolling basis, across the year, rather than bound by deadline.

Since its inception in 2014, the Stepping Stones Fund has distributed over £3m in grant funding to 77 organisations in Greater London who wish to test out ideas for trading, for property purchase and for redevelopment. These grants allow charities a ‘safe space’ to road test an idea, encouraging innovation and ultimately catalysing revenue generation. The aim is to make organisations more robust, encouraging resilience and sustainability

Alison Gowman, Chair of City Bridge Trust commented:

From the previous five rounds of funding, we have noted that it can be difficult for our grantees to be ready to apply within the time allocated. For many, this is a new way of funding, for others, our deadlines did not marry up with their own financial timescales, or when opportunities arose. For that reason, we decided to keep this call open and to be ready to respond when the time is right for our grantees.”


Stepping Stones was set up in recognition that the sector must go further than pure philanthropy to help voluntary organisations achieve their goals: often they need finance to innovate, test, grow, to buy assets, maintain property or redesign their business. The Stepping Stones Fund, deliberately risk-taking in nature – will help address the shortage of organisations ready for early-stage, high risk, small loans.

The success of Stepping Stones Fund is underpinned by a strong partnership between City Bridge Trust and UBS. It is an exciting and very effective combination of the Trust’s grant-making expertise, the generous funding offered by UBS and the skills and insights of the bank’s corporate volunteers.

The City of London Corporation and City Bridge Trust are committed to working with others to grow the social investment market and to promote London as a global hub for social investment.

For more information and to start your Stepping Stones Application please visit here.


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