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Case study: Big Potential, Big Lottery Grant Fund

Client: Big Lottery Fund


Date: January 2017 - December 2017


Support offered: Mutual Ventures were a support provider as part of the Big Lottery’s Big Potential Grant Fund. Big Potential was a £20m Big Lottery Fund grant fund that provided grants and support to charities and social enterprises to help them identify sustainable routes to growth; whether this be through increasing revenue through trading, or attracting social investment, with a view to organisations becoming more sustainable, having greater capacity and possessing the ability to scale up to deliver greater social impact.

The programme had two different application routes: Big Potential Breakthrough and Big Potential Advanced. Breakthrough was aimed at organisations who wanted support to help explore how social investment might help them and/or were looking to raise less than £500,000 of investment. Advanced was aimed at organisations who were clear about how social investment could help them or those who wanted to raise social investment of over £500,000.


As part of the programme, Mutual Ventures supported a number of organisations to develop new and innovate growth strategies, including:


DYS Space*: Mutual Ventures supported DYS Space* (formerly the Devon County Council Youth Service) to update their strategic objectives and identify potential areas of growth (services, markets and partnerships). Working in partnership with DYS Space*, we undertook significant market research to identify growth opportunities that aligned to the charity’s objects, vision and values.


Libraries Unlimited

Mutual Ventures has supported Libraries Unlimited throughout its journey from Local Authority library service to a thriving staff and community owned charity. From establishing as an independent organisation in 2016 after ‘spinning out’ from Devon County Council, we have supported the charity to grow; our support, advice and challenge has supported the charity to grow in a sustainable way that supports the organisation’s charitable objects.


Ciara Eastell, former Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited, said:


“The support provided by MV on this project was exceptional. The consultants were professional, supportive, conscientious and were able to build excellent relationships and credibility across the multiple stakeholders involved on the project.”