Match Trading

An innovation in grant-funding that incentivises growth through trading

What is Match Trading?

It’s a beautifully simple concept. Match Trading® is grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. (It is also known as Match Trade.)

This animation explains Match Trading in 90 seconds.

By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading grants incentivise social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures.

Match Trading grants were created by the SSE from 20 years of experience of helping people to create sustainable change in their communities.

We’ve created Match Trading with the support of pioneer partners Lloyds Banking Group and The National Lottery Community Fund  and development is overseen by a Task Force of 20+ leading funders and social-sector organisations.

What’s the impact of Match Trading?

Launched in 2017, Match Trading grants have been awarded to over 500 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations as part of SSE learning programmes.  Latest evaluation shows

  • Social impact organisations incentivised by a Match Trading grant are increasing their income from trading at 2.5 times the pace of those supported by a traditional grant.
  • Data from three completed Match Trading programmes demonstrates that the approach supports at least a 64% uplift in trading income within one year, and that this uplift is sustained in subsequent years.
  • A control group study by Power to Change revealed that Match Trading grants drive an increase in income from trading as a proportion of total revenue – a 9.5 percentage point shift in this ‘trading ratio’ compared to traditional grants.

Check out these Match Trading impact stories .

Programmes in partnership with Power to Change, Rank Foundation, Lloyds Banking Group, the Scottish Government, Guys and St Thomas Charity, The National Lottery Community Fund and Access Foundation have enabled further understanding of the impact it is already having.

That said, Match Trading is a new innovation, so there’s still lots to figure out. SSE is committed to exploring Match Trading’s potential applications and limitations. We’re keen to work in collaboration with partners to pilot Match Trading further. Click here to find out more.

What our partners say about Match Trading

“We are keenly aware of the deep-rooted problems social enterprises face in accessing the variety and range of funding and investment needed to assist them at different stages of their development, thus we support further investment into Match Trading, a vital part of the social impact investor eco-system.”

Peter Holbrook – CEO – SEUK


“We remain great supporters of SSE’s pioneering Match Trading enterprise grant tool. We believe it has the potential to grow impact, in collaboration with funders and other significant stakeholders in the sector.”

James Banks – CEO- London Funders


“We cannot regenerate people, places and our planet without new innovative approaches to persistent problems. Match Trading is one such innovation, which when coupled with skills development, will help deliver the levelling up agenda.”

Andy Aldane – CEO – RSA


“We’re excited to be working with SSE and Match Trading as part of the Community Enterprise Growth Plan partnership and see Match Trading as a critical element in supporting enterprise growth as well as building pipeline for the social investment sector.”

James Westhead – Head of Engagement – Big Society Capital


For social entrepreneurs:

You can access Match Trading grants as part of selected SSE programmes.

Discover our other courses here