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January update from Big Society Capital

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Belated Happy New Year. It is still, just about, a good time for reflection.

So, following my December blog on the ways the social investment market has developed in 2014, I thought it would now be helpful to update on Big Society Capital’s own progress for the year that’s just finished. Here are some of our key (and unaudited) year-end numbers:

As the table above shows, £104 million has now been drawn-down from BSC and our co-investors since our inception in 2012. Of the £104 million, £36 million is from BSC’s own funds and £68 million is from our co-investors.

As critical as the amount of social investment BSC is helping to generate, is where that capital is actually going. Broadly-speaking, use of BSC’s £36m so far is as follows:

~ 31% is into property, mainly to help charitable service delivery. For example, the Real Lettings Property Fund has helped St Mungo’s get more homeless people and families into suitable move-on accommodation.

~ 20% is invested in asset-locked organisations (charities, community interest companies, community benefit companies, and companies limited by guarantee), and co-operatives.

~ 20% is into critical social investment ‘infrastructure’ such as Charity Bank or Clearlyso. These infrastructure organisations have already lent or arranged approximately four times the amount of BSC’s original investment, and we expect this multiplier to increase further over time[3].

~ 9% is helping charities participate in social impact bond delivery.

~ 8% has been invested in companies limited-by-shares[4].

~ The balance of funds (12%) is split between management fees paid to social investment finance intermediaries (or ‘SIFIs’) and cash balances remaining on SIFI balance sheets.

Another important development in 2014 is that BSC has now signed-up £158 million of its capital across 36 different investments. This is up from just £48 million across 20 investments that were signed at the end of 2013. Once signed-up co-investment has been added to this £158m number, it means several hundred millions of pounds has now been catalysed for social investment in the UK. There is also, of course, a lot happening in social investment beyond BSC’s direct involvement, including continued investment from charitable foundations, the growth of community share and charity bonds issuances and the expansion of positive savings products[5]. So all-in-all, we think there was some encouraging progress in social investment during 2014, whilst acknowledging there is still a lot more to do.

I hope that this is a valuable quick snap-shot of BSC’s current investment numbers. There will of course be more detail on our 2014 performance, including the social impact of our investments, as well as future plans in our Annual Report, which will be published in May.

Last updated | 
15 January 2015

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