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?
Last week the Big Lottery Fund announced that up to £293,250 in grant funding has been offered in-principle to North Somerset Council for a four-year social impact bond (SIB) to support 240 local young people aged 10 to 17 who are at risk of going into care.
At Big Society Capital, we are seeing increasing interest in the use of social investment to pump prime public service reform. There are wide areas of government services which could benefit from being commissioned partially or fully on the basis of outcomes.
A core part of Big Society Capital’s role as an investor is to source and develop new investment proposals, as well as assessing applications we receive. We actively seek partners to co-design solutions which address specific social issues and fill gaps where social investment could have a role to play.
Many charities with a large national presence such as Age UK and YMCA operate in a “federated” structure (with an umbrella or national charity and a number of local independent charities run with a common identity).
I spent seven years looking after my mum before she died. Caring for someone with dementia is a lot harder than most people realise. I often felt lost and overwhelmed by the task ahead and soon realised I had to find new ways to keep Mum busy and give her a sense of purpose, otherwise she’d spend all day staring at the TV.
One of the commitments we made in our transparency proposals was the publication of historical deal-level data up to September 2015. Today we are able to publish that data, which includes deals made or facilitated by fund managers, banks and other intermediaries who have received capital from Big Society Capital.
Many ex-offenders are reconvicted within one year of release. There is plenty of research to say that many prisoners think having a job is a vital part of keeping them out of prison. The problem is finding employment on release can be difficult, particularly for those who were unemployed before they were convicted.
Big Society Capital wants to create a £5 million facility for alternative finance platforms to match crowdfunded investments by individuals to charities and social enterprises. We are seeking platforms to partner with us to deliver this fund which will launch in 2016.
In a recent speech on creating a ‘smarter state’, the Prime Minister said that government will increasingly be ‘bringing in new providers or allowing new ways of doing things’. Following this, the Institute for Government convened an event to explore what we can learn from new approaches to commissioning, setting up and managing public service markets and how to enable integration and collaboration between service providers and government.