What is the gritty reality of social investment? If I were being cruel I would start by misquoting a saying most frequently credited to the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius “Life is really simple, but lawyers insist on making it complicated. “
When you invest socially, is your intention to gain or give? Premal Shah, President [and co-founder] of the social lending platform Kiva, asked this loaded question to a packed audience at this year’s Marmalade session on people-powered social investment.
Building mass participation within social investment can significantly impact communities and individuals. At Big Society Capital, we ultimately want to see millions of people contributing to social change through their own personal finance choices, and thousands of grassroots organisations being able to access the finance they need to support their local communities.
Who should be a social investor? Should social investment be the preserve of big financial institutions, charitable foundations, large companies and high-net-worth individuals? Or should this be accessible to regular people who identify with a social issue or a community and want to do everything they can to help?