Big Society Capital has announced its first investment to be successfully repaid since it was established in 2012.
The redemption comes from the £2m Scope charity bond which Big Society Capital supported through a £875,000 investment into Investing for Good, the social finance intermediary who arranged and underwrote the transaction.
Launched by Scope in May 2012, it was one of the first charity bonds to be listed on an established stock exchange by a UK charity.
Over the past three years, the disability charity has used the capital raised to help open 20 new shops and to assist in growing its donor base by another 100,000 new supporters. This has enabled Scope to generate unrestricted revenues to help fund the charity’s additional programmes such as the training of parent befrienders to run peer support groups for parents with severely disabled children.
The charity bond market has grown substantially since Scope’s bond issue in 2012, with over £78m of capital subsequently being raised by charities through listed and unlisted bond issues.
Peter Crowne, Director of Finance at Scope, said:
“Issuing the bond was a very exciting first for Scope. We are proud to have led the way in this space, finding new ways of fundraising in the capital markets. We have watched the social investment market grow over the last few years and it is great that we can tell the story of what it has achieved and that we have paid it back.
“The money raised has made a very positive impact on the disabled people and their families that Scope supports. For example, it has helped to fund our Face 2 Face program, a peer support scheme for parents of disabled children across the country.
“We are extremely grateful for the support that we received from other organisations, including Big Society Capital, to take us through what was a new process for the sector.”
Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of Big Society Capital said:
“This is the first Big Society Capital investment to be repaid and illustrates how charities and social enterprises can successfully use social investment as a tool to generate additional funding and increase their impact.
“We look forward to seeing more of our investments redeem in future as we help create a greater track record for investments that generate both social impact and a financial return.”
Big Society Capital, along with its co-investors, has committed £374 million to invest into charities and social enterprises via products such as social impact bonds, property funds and charity bonds.