Prime Minister hails social investment as ‘a great force for social change on the planet’ | Big Society Capital

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Prime Minister hails social investment as ‘a great force for social change on the planet’

At the world’s first G8 conference on social impact investing Prime Minister David Cameron today reinforced the UK’s commitment and leadership in growing the global social investment market, which already creates jobs and growth in the economy and tackles entrenched social problems whilst saving money for the taxpayer.

- UK hosts inaugural G8 conference on social impact investing

- Prime Minister announces £250m to help communities purchase local assets

- London Stock Exchange backs the world’s first Social Stock Exchange

Traditional investment markets raise money for great business ideas that transform our economy. Social impact investment strengthens society by providing finance to charities, social enterprises and community groups. It enables them to expand their services and develop better solutions to entrenched social problems such as supporting troubled families, providing job and training opportunities for young people or simply enabling people to invest in community projects.

The Prime Minister set up Big Society Capital, the world’s first social investment bank, last year to help grow this market. Today he announced three new measures to further incentivise social investments, helping people measure the social value of those investments, and using the power of social investment to help our communities buy local assets. He announced:

  • Big Society Capital, the world’s first social investment bank, and the Big Lottery Fund are developing a £50 million Community Assets Fund which will provide a blend of grants and loans to help communities through the phases of local ownership. This is part of a longer term commitment from Big Society Capital and the Big Lottery Fund to provide a quarter of a billion pounds of finance over the rest of this decade to help communities with ambitions to own local assets; 
  • A new consultation on a Social Investment Tax Relief, which could generate an extra half a billion pounds in social investments over the next five years;
  • The world’s first Social Stock Exchange, an online portal that will become the first information platform on the planet to showcase publicly listed social impact businesses. It will make it easier for people to consider the social as well as the financial impacts of their investments meaning more investment, more growth and more impact in our communities.

Prime Minister David Cameron said;

“Growing a bigger global market starts at home and today we are announcing three major new steps. Tax breaks for social investments, a Social Stock Exchange to measure how successful those social investments are, and most importantly, new help for our communities to buy local assets.

“Social investment can be a great force for social change on the planet. It can help us to build bigger and stronger societies. That power is in our hands. And together we will use it to build a better future for ourselves, for our children and for generations to come.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said;

“Britain and other developed nations face a shared challenge - achieving economic growth, sorting out our debt problems, and tackling our deepest social problems. We are committed to growing the social investment market as it offers a solution to these problems without placing the burden on the taxpayer. By bringing together the people who invest with charities, and social enterprises, we can ultimately achieve more good for society.” Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said; "We have the opportunity to transform the funding environment for ambitious charities and social enterprises. Social investment is the opportunity to move away from hand to mouth funding and access long term affordable finance. It can support much needed growth and social innovation. It is early days and it is not for everyone but the opportunity is an important one. That is why more and more countries are looking closely at the lead we have taken in the UK."

Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of Big Society Capital said;

"Big Society Capital recently celebrated its first anniversary and announced several new commitments for the year ahead to plug gaps in the market for financing social ventures. This includes looking at a fund alongside the Big Lottery for financing all stages of community asset development. We believe a dedicated fund could provide a significant boost to the development of community owned assets in the UK."

An open letter from industry today congratulated the PM and G8 countries on their efforts to grow the global impact investment market, and to support them going forwards. The letter was signed by over 80 leading voices from finance and civil society – including JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Big Society Capital, KPMG, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Omidyar Network.

The conference was also attended by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude MP and Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd amongst other foreign Government Ministers, business leaders and delegates. 

Last updated | 
6 June 2013