Who is it for?
As traditional grant funding for community transport organisations becomes ever more scarce, some are responding by becoming more enterprising. It’s a sector buzzing with ideas and a desire to make a difference in new ways. However, it can be hard to get new initiatives started with the pressures of the day-to-day. Future journeys is here to help.
Future Journeys is for community transport organisations, from the well-established to the newly-founded, who are committed to taking a social enterprise route whilst keeping a focus on their core mission – and who have a good idea of how they want to get there.
Future Journeys combines practical support from HCT Group and funding provided by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Foundation for Integrated Transport. The idea is to support a specific project or process that helps community transport organisations to become more commercially sustainable. Support comes as a package combining three strands.
Advice and support: During each stage of the programme, participants will be able to draw on the commercial and operational expertise of HCT Group, a leading social enterprise and the UK’s largest community transport organisation.
Development Grant: Getting a new commercial activity ready takes time and space. There are small grants of up to £15,000 available for specific work needed to improve preparedness.
Working capital: New ventures require investment, so the programme includes an unsecured, below market-rate loan of between £10,000 and £50,000 to get your commercial project underway.
Your questions answered
What sort of projects can attract support?
We’re interested in any project that will help a community transport organisation to become commercially sustainable. This could include the development of new products and services, building organisational capabilities, developing new commercial partnerships – and not just transport, anything that helps to establish you as a social enterprise. Get in touch with your ideas.
What kind of practical support is available?
We will provide advice and support, using our expertise as a social enterprise to help you navigate your way.
Will HCT Group be telling us what to do?
Not at all. Our role in this process is to support your ideas and leadership, rather than impose an HCT Group ‘model’ – because nothing beats local expertise. We’ll also set up a network of participants, providing a platform for the sharing of ideas.
How long is our involvement?
Successful projects will last between three and five years. At the end of the project, we could renew our partnership with a new idea, go our separate ways, or look at a different way of working together.
How does the loan work?
Exactly how the loan works would depend on the project you had in mind, so we would agree a repayment plan that made sense for your organisation. We need to charge some interest to cover loan administration, but at a below market rate.
Can I just get the grant element and not use the loan?
You can’t have one without the other. The grant is there to help you get ready, the loan is to cover the inevitable need for working capital that a commercial venture requires.
Why has HCT Group launched Future Journeys?
Like you, we’re all about increasing our social impact. If we help you to make a difference, we’ve made a difference too.
We’re seeking applications for the first cohort of Future Journeys projects now. Places on the programme and the resources for projects are strictly limited. Consequently, we are advising interested community transport organisations to contact us as soon as possible to register their interest and explore their ideas with us.
Find out more
If you’d like to register your organisation’s interest in Future Journeys or would just like to find out more, contact Martin Clarke on
020 7608 8952