Category Archives: Impact Investment

£5.5m Northern Impact Fund launches for social enterprises

 

Imaginaitive with funding, secure in it’s mission for social enterprise – The Key Fund…

Key Fund, a long-standing investor in community and social enterprises, is delivering the Northern Impact Fund, aimed at new and early stage enterprises who are seeking finance to support growth.

Matt Smith, CEO of the Key Fund, said: “With this fund we’re offering finance of up to £150k, but typical investments will be around £50k, with up to 20% of the amount available as grant. The Key Fund was one of the early pioneers in this space, and our original model was based on a grant and loan mix, so we’re really excited to be going back to that original model. It’s long been our belief that grants can play a very important role in helping new and smaller social enterprise become more robust.”

Source: The Key Fund web site – thekeyfund.co.uk  Accessed 25.09.2016

A new blended grant and loan fund, the Key Fund package looks to secure sector deals in the £5,000 to £150,000 range. Applications are accepted from across the North and Midlands, with the Fund looking to realise 46 deals a year.

At a flat rate of 6.5% interest, the average loan term secured is expected to be three years.

Interested in business development on these terms, as a social/community enterprise.  See the links below…

Find a full copy/Press Release about the new fund here

Find a full grant/investment profile for the new Fund on-line here

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Social Investment by Charities

 Making a social investment as a charity?

 

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 (’the 2016 Act’) introduces a new statutory power for charities to make social investments. This came into force on 31 July 2016.

The Charity Commission have released yesterday interim guidance to charities to cover this new development in financial matters. The interim information is due for review in 2017, but the Commission are keen to underscore, for trustees, the power trustees now have to make ‘social investments’.

Below are some useful definitions and links to more information on this theme for those involved in charty governance and finance.

What is a ‘social investment’?

‘In the legislation, a ‘social investment’ means a ‘relevant act’ of a charity which is carried out ‘with a view to both directly furthering the charity’s purposes and achieving a financial return for the charity’.

A ‘relevant act’ means one of two things:

  • an application or use of funds or other property by the charity; or
  • taking on a commitment in relation to a liability of another person which puts the charity’s funds or other property at risk of being applied or used, such as a guarantee’

Source: Gov.uk Publications – Chariities and investment matters  See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-and-investment-matters-a-guide-for-trustees-cc14/charities-and-investment-matters-interim-guidance   Accessed 01.08.2016

What is not a social investment?

‘A financial investment is an investment made solely for the purpose of achieving a financial return for the charity.

A programme related investment (PRI) will not be a social investment unless the financial return to the charity forms part of the motivation for the charity making the decision to carry out the relevant act.’

The guidance issued goes on to review trustees’ general duties, the statutory restriction imbued by the 2016 Act, as well as the use of a charity’s permanent endowment processes.

In conclusion there is a succinct section of caution on the giving of ‘guarantees’. The guidance does recognise, however…

‘If a charity is asked to give a guarantee, the trustees will need to consider carefully whether they have the power to give it. The power to make social investments includes a power to give guarantees if they meet the definition.’

You can find the new Social Investment guidance on-line in full here.

Another section of the Commission web site offers the visitor downloadable documents and advice  – Charites and Investment Matters: a guide for trustees (CC14)

The documents are available in html or as pdf’s for review and download.

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Cabinet Office – Social Investment Awards

 Investing in UK social business…

The Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards recognise the impact social investment is having on communities across the UK.

Now entering its second year, the awards highlight the innovation and dedication of world leading social investors and enterprises, celebrating both the achievements of teams and individuals alike.

The awards are supported by NatWest. In 1999 the bank set up its own charity, Social & Community Capital, to help fund social enterprises and community lenders that cannot access mainstream finance and to help them on their path to the financial mainstream.

The awards have six categories that applicants can enter, free of charge, by nominating their own businesses or social enterprises.

Institutional Social Investment Award
Institutional investment deal or product that has created demonstrable social impact at scale.
New Social Investors Award
Investment deal or product that has attracted new savers and investors into the social investment market.
Social Entrepreneurs Investment Award
Investment deal into an early stage social organisation to create demonstrable social impact.
International Social Investment Award
International investor who has invested through the UK market to create social impact anywhere in the world.
Market Building Award
Organisation that has demonstrated innovative and diverse ways to grow the social investment market in the UK.
Public Service Transformation Award
Social investment deal that has delivered improved public services.

Categories 1-3 and 5-6 are open to nominations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Category 4 is open to individuals or organisations based anywhere in the world.

The awards close to applications on 18 March 2016. Short-listed nominees will be notified on 1 April 2016 and the awards ceremony will be held in London on 3 May 2016.

For more information see the Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards website.

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Clowne and District Community Transport (CDCT)

CDCT Logo4CDCT are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The organisation delivers accessible transport solutions  for individuals and groups who have difficulty in using public transport in the Bolsover District Council area, along with Bassetlaw, Chesterfield, Rotherham, Mansfield, Eckington and Killamarsh.

The Board of CDCT have decide to explore further developmental opportunities. Their focus is given below…

  • Develop a strategic alliance with another like minded charity, social enterprise or similar type community focused body
  • Explore a possible merger or other collaborative partnership working

CDCT Call for Engagement paper - pdf version...“In making this decision, the Board have commissioned Nottingham based SEEM to help facilitate this exploration and invite interested parties to submit an Expression of Interest. Please see below for further details on this process”.

With an uncertain future funding landscape, CDCT are looking to explore ways of working with other like-minded organisations, who, after the initial Expression of Interest, will be selected to develop more detailed proposals, within a framework of mutual discussion and exploration.

Icon for Adobe PDFYou can download the full CDCT proposal information here…

Timescales and next steps for the Expression of Interest process:

emailIconMiniTo request an EOI, please send an email to SEEM at info@seem.uk.net with the subject ‘Clowne and District Community Transport EOI’.

The Board of CDCT has asked that all EOI’s are returned back to SEEM at the same email address by 7th April 2015 at 5pm.

Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Please refer all queries regarding the process to SEEM not CDCT.

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Ethical business with a social dimension…
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SEEM partners the Good Deals Social Investment conference

This was the GoodDeals conference in 2013.

Good Deals 2013 from Matter&Co on Vimeo.

Now for 2014…

SEEM (Supporting Social Business) will be in London for the UK’s biggest social investment conference at the end of November 2014 and as partners to this event we’ve secured a special discount rate for our members and readers of ‘MiningTheSEEM’

With less than four weeks to go to the Good Deal Conference taking place on the 24th and 25th of November, we’re looking forward to seeing what’s new in the world of Social Finance. Our partners Matter&Co are once again organising the UK’s biggest gathering of social entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, corporates and social investors.

Keynote speakers include Jacqueline Novogratz, Vince CableSafia Minney and Liam Black. For more information on programme and venue details please visit www.good-dealsuk.com.

As a partner to the event we are delighted to offer all of our members a  25% discount ticket to the conference using the promo code SEEM14.

We’re reliably informed that over half the tickets have already been sold, so if you can’t wait give a member of the Good Deals team a call 020 8533 8892.

We are really excited about this year’s event and we will be there in full force.

We hope to see you there too…

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Ethical business with a social dimension…
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Are you getting enough finance?

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Business growth in our region…

Access to finance to support Growth

The Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East Midlands and South East Midlands are conducting a survey of businesses in our area to find out whether businesses are able to get access to finance to support their growth.

This could of course include social finance for all socially impacting businesses.

They would like to know about business’ experiences if they have sought funding recently or if they plan to seek funding for future investment projects. They would also like to know if they have any barriers to growth.

By completing the survey below, businesses will help the Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East Midlands and South East Midlands to decide how to use their funds to help small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Your say!

You can find the on-line survey here.

 

 

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Ethical business with a social dimension…
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CleanTech Connections

 

 

We were pleased to cross the City and to be invited to the latest CleanTech Centre lunch event, on Thursday 21st October, 2014. A great opportunity to network and hear key speakers in an informal, professional setting.

Our Roger Moors was delivering the keynote presentation to the assembled guests and he was welcomed to the event by Bob Pynegar of Inntropy Limited, who owns the Centre.

Inntropy was set up in 2011 by Bob Pynegar and Nick Gostick. They saw that a building in West Nottingham had the potential to be an incubator for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs specialising in clean technologies. This building is now known as The Nottingham Clean Tech Centre (NCTC).

Bob wrapped his introduction to delegates with an illustration of how the CleanTech Centre offers its resident businesses a professional, supportive atmosphere to work in, with the advantage of having spaces available to meet client s and suppliers, as well as being able to take advantage of the Inntropy ‘entrepreneurship offer’ – mentoring, guidance , support and training.

Completing his delivery to the audience with a stress upon the growing importance of the Social Business sector, whether as a source of development funding, the melding of company philosophies with consumer expectations or the growth of the ‘triple bottom line’ business. ‘Social outcome will be even more important for the SME sector in the future...’ said Bob.

Roger Moors of SEEM then took centre stage. Roger began by offering the assembled business audience a range of definitions about the context of charities in business, social enterprises, and now with the emergence of the social finance sector, the ever growing importance of companies with distinct and clear social aims, yet who can still deliver external dividends as part of their enterprise processes.

Roger used a few simple diagrams to make his point. The ‘blended social business’, with solid social aims, clear business strategies and distinct profits would look something like this, he argued…

blendedbusinessgraphicAchieving the blended balance…

Roger emphasised the point that there were 90,000 Social Enterprises in the UK, with only some 10% actually delivering a sustainable business model that was not reliant on loans or charitable grants.

An opportunity for the social business, with strong profits, to deliver social outcome in a sustainable way.

This was not seen as a failure of the sector, but an opportunity for mainstream businesses to make bolder declarations of their social concern and delivery and use this effect to capitalise expansion, new products an services, the whole while supporting their communities of interest.

Roger then launched to the audience the new £1 million Nottingham Social Impact fund, which is designed to fit the investment profile outlined in the narrative above.

With loans available from£5,000 to £150,000, Roger saw the initial tranches of support in the £50,000 sector or below, with an ideal period of three years for repayment. The money will be put out at 6.5% interest.

The Fund is a collaborative effort between Nottingham City Council and The Key Fund.

Roger, in conclusion, stressed the importance of the Public Sector Social Value Act of January 2013. Committing all Local Authorities to take social impact into account when making strategic procurement decisions with their public money.

Roger receive applause from the audience and the thanks of Bob Pinegar for his clarity and conciseness.


I f you are interested as a start-up in the office provision and business support that the CleanTech Centre can offer, then please use the contact details below.

We know that you will be warmly welcomed.

Nick Gostick – nickgostick@inntropy.co.uk

Linda Slack – lindaslack@inntropy.co.uk

0115 822 1865

Inntropy Limited, Nottingham CleanTech Centre,
63-67 St Peter’s Street, Nottingham, UK, NG7 3EN


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Cornershop revisionism – philosophy refreshed…

The Pop-up Shop has been getting a lot of press recently.

Did it ever go away? Is a revision to enterprise philosophy under way? Asset management, both in the public and private sector is in flux. With revisionist thinking on collaboration and about public space utility and development?

We think there is this paradigm shift, which can energise the social finance market. It will temper developments in the public space. This affects political mission, private capital movements and community outcome.

We offer as evidence the three reports/ideas formulated by a diversity of organisations below. As crisp in their thinking as they are diverse. They are telling onlookers to change, at an opportune moment for our sector.

The Pop-Up Shop:

See more modern retailing here...
Hogarth imagines the pop-up shop?

Reading mainstream articles about this newly energised movement, we enjoyed revisiting the web site of www.appearhere.co.uk . We see it as a metaphor for a new retailing in the UK.

We are a world away from the ’empty space’ temporary retail proposition of old.

Gone are bare spaces, filled with less than high quality merchandise on a seasonal pressure sale basis. In comes a range of artisan producers, innovatory publishers and craft manufacturers. All intent on capitalising on short term, premium retail spaces. It should stir the imagination?

The Appear Here concept achieves a number of aims for the burgeoning retailer. Firstly, you can use the site to scope spaces across the UK, and will be able to view more in the future. You can also see, upfront, the cost of occupying the space over your chosen period.

If you are a community enterprise just at the planning stage this is important. Not being retail property specialists, but with a passion for your community manufactury, then knowing what the costs are likely to be, with support of the Appear Here team, could be a deal clincher for your project.

We haven’t fully explored the booking conditions from the site yet, and cannot see other start-up costs like majority deposits that may be needed, but overall the presentation makes a telling offer for the 21st Century.   internetIconMini  Check out Appear Here today.

We also liked and applaud The Plunkett Fondation’s attempts to vivify the community shop. They have recently published a new report Community Shops 2014 – A Better Form of Business.

Better shops, better communities...
Better shops, better communities…

The Foundation’s main focus is on rural development. As with the initiative above, retailing and the opportunities it offers, are good in inner-city areas too.

These include the principles of stock management, employment, volunteering, managing cash-flow and more.

The mixture of skills and commitment adds human capital, not only to the shop, but also the community if done right.

Icon for Adobe PDF  Download a copy of the Plunkett Foundation Report for 2014 here…

What can be gleaned for the Plunkett report is how a local shop can be a driver for community cohesion, a broad, beneficial identity and, because it is community owned, a wider sense of community ownership of place is also generated. Who cannot be proud of the area the shop they own exists within?

 Socially Productive Places:

Yesterday The Royal Society for the Arts (RSA), in collaboration with British Land, published a new report about an emergent model to add value to public spaces by utilising a new admixture of co-operation and skills shared amongst local authority planners, developers, community groups and politicians.

New ideas in regeneration...
New ideas in regeneration…

We were excited by the report, which contains recommendations for how private developers and public sector players can innovate and collaborate in new ways to get the maximum value from public spaces, whilst at the same time adding value to built assets.

At the heart of the report is a lack of fear about profitability. But with a sense of urgency and innovation about how the public domain renovates and rebuilds from now on.

The report tells us what should not done. As well as illustrating the new skills needed by key players in the development sector. It is a cogent and telling argument.

Icon for Adobe PDF   Download a full copy of the research paper here…

It’s a timely report and you can read a short review, and find links to the conference that inspired the research, on conversationsEAST, the East of England Fellowship journal supporting the work of the RSA.

Mass Collaboration:

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), is a centre-left think tank. It recently published a paper called Mass Collaboration.

Within the context of this brief article, the IPPR piece binds together some of the ideas expressed above. Taking a meta-narrative view of policy and practice.

To see how to achieve change in the public arena. Moving to mass engagement within the socio-political structures that frame our society.

Working together in a new way...
Working together in a new way…

The paper, authored by Matthew Pike, a serial social entrepreneur. He has connections to Unltd, Big Society Capital and the Social Investment Business.

Matthew is the founder of www.resultsmark.org, a free reporting system for public services. Always worth checking out!

Icon for Adobe PDF   Download a copy of the report here…

The Pike thesis for change, that will will channel mass collaboration, is based upon five key principles. We give them below.

  1. “Invest in shared institutions that build social capital and engender supportive working relationships across sectors and hierarchies, such as teams of supporters around individuals, community anchor organisations, children’s centres, extended schools and more. Above all, invest in new ‘backbone organisations’ that can mobilise and organise whole-system change across localities.
  2. Understand what help people need in order to help themselves and discover the existing strengths within people and communities, through an immersive programme of listening and learning.
  3. Harness the new power of ‘big social data’ to turn public funding into a real-time process of action learning, understanding as much as possible about activities, outcomes and costs in an area to help design new systems that give people the help they need in a much smarter way.
  4. Provide funding, investment and support to test, grow and scale up what works better in a local context and cut what isn’t needed or is less effective.
  5. Work progressively to use new insight and evidence to help redesign the wider systems, rules and regulations that hamper local achievement”.

The five could apply to the social finance sector, and the players operating in it. Innovation, change, consultation, system and process review, engagement with communities of interest. All are all defining characteristics of the Social Finance sector.

The thematic glue to them, for us in the sector, is money. It’s accrual, its management and its dispensation. The Pikeian motif can layer upon the RSA paper, as well as across the innovatory approach of The Plunkett Foundation. In essence, we should talk to each other and ‘do things different’.

A heady time to be in the vanguard of a new movement?

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