Melanie is leading Big Society Capital’s work to support social enterprises to engage with social investment. Formerly Chief Executive of Social Enterprise West Midlands CIC, Melanie led it from a publicly funded project to a sustainable social enterprise through four years of trading and growth. With a background of 20 years in retail Melanie has also deployed her commercial skills to run her own consultancy working with community organisations and charities to raise funds and to look at new ways of sustainable income generation. Melanie is particularly focused on busting the myth that social investment is just a London centric activity and leads on our work across the Midlands and North.
Outside of her day job Melanie supports the sector in other ways and is the Social Enterprise Champion for Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and Chair of Governors at a rural primary school in Leicestershire.
A recurring challenge we get from social entrepreneurs around social impact investment is on the cost of capital. More specifically, they tell us they want cheaper, more patient money that can and will take more risks.
As the recent review of Social Investment Tax Relief (‘What a Relief!’) outlines, there have been challenges to SITR reaching its potential. Here, we look at three actions we can take to help unlock it.