Last night, we celebrated Big Society Capital’s second anniversary at an event kindly hosted by CCLA, with a room full of people who have all played a role in taking the vision for social investment and Big Society Capital ‘from ambition to action’. We heard from speakers including Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society [“it really feels like the idea of social investment is coming of age. It’s always been a beautiful vision but day by day we’re turning it into a reality that touches people’s lives”] and four organisations that have received investment (DERiC, Real Lettings, Impact Ventures UK and Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund).
We’ve just published a strategy for Big Society Capital to guide our next few years. It sets out a vision for the future social investment market, and what we can do as a champion and investor to work towards this vision.
Today the Social Investment Research Council, launched last year as a partnership between Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital, Citi, City of London Corporation and Cabinet Office, publishes its first report.
Local Partnerships launches Technology Spin-out Fund to support public sector spin-outs
A new £6 million initiative announced today will enable public sector spin-outs access to loans of between £250 thousand and £1 million for investment in technology to improve services in health and social care.
Whalley Community Hydro – a community renewable energy scheme in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley – is the first organisation to be awarded a loan by Charity Bank following Big Society Capital’s investment in the Bank last month.
Scotland’s leading funder for the third sector, Social Investment Scotland, has secured a £16M in principle matched investment commitment from Big Society Capital and the Scottish Government to create a Social Growth Fund for Scotland.
Big Society Capital has made its largest ever single investment – up to £14.5m of ordinary shares in Charity Bank in three successive tranches between 2014 and 2016. The first tranche of £4.5m has been invested following receipt of all requisite regulatory and shareholder approvals.
Today, Impact Ventures UK (IVUK) has announced its first investment of £800,000 into K10 - an independent social enterprise that employs apprentices and places them in the London construction industry.
Today the Chancellor, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, has announced that the rate of the new social investment tax rate relief will be 30%. This means that the relief is equivalent to existing venture capital schemes. This is good news for charities and social enterprises who, we hope, will now be able to access around half a billion pounds of additional investment over the next five years.
Big Society Capital, the world's first social investment bank, today welcomes the commitment made by the Chancellor, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, in his Budget to set the rate of social investment tax rate relief at 30%.
In November 2013, we announced our cornerstone investment of £10 million in the UK Social Bond Fund, a joint initiative by Threadneedle Investment and Big Issue Invest. This week, the official launch of the first UK, daily liquid social bond fund was met with a packed room of both social investors and more 'traditional' investors.
“It’s been great to spend a day feeling being both inspired and better informed”
This was just one of the comments from a social enterprise delegate attending one of the two events on social finance that Big Society Capital supported with Social Enterprise North West (SENW) in Salford and Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber (SEYH) in Leeds last week. Both SENW and SEYH ran fantastic lively events to bring social enterprises and charities together with social finance providers – with the chance to meet similar organisations and social finance organisations, debate, and hear updates on current developments and examples of social investment in action.
Despite the UK's ageing population, the number of people getting essential support in their home has actually fallen in the past five years, leaving an estimated one million people without any help. As a result, care services are there to respond to crisis rather than provide the support needed to prevent vulnerable individuals from reaching crisis point...
Identifying, measuring and communicating social impact is critical for social sector organisations who want to deliver positive changes to the people and communities where they operate. Many organisations grapple with decisions about how to deliver the right kind of social impact, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with limited resources - and then find out if it worked or not. These challenges were central to the discussions at the Impact Leadership Conference which I attended earlier this month that was hosted by New Philanthropy Capital and the Charity Finance Group.
The current UK banking system is highly concentrated (four banks control 85% of SME lending), highly centralised (with one exception all of those banks are in London) and increasingly driven by industralising the loan process. Indeed, as Martin Wolf commented in the FT the “UK banking is a highly interconnected machine whose principal activity is leveraging up property assets.” This provides a real opportunity for Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) (which are regionally based, relationship driven and focused on combining social value and appropriate returns) to satisfy the enormous demand for funding that exists in our communities.