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…
The Nottingham Social Impact Fund supports the development of new and existing social enterprises, jobs and growth, offering loans from £5,000 to £150,000.
The Fund believes community and social enterprises not only reignite local economies, but are best placed to tackle social problems, from community-owned pubs, social care services, high-tech renewable energy solutions and recycling schemes.
Dave Thornett, Business Development Manager at Key Fund, said “Nottingham has a strong social enterprise community with the creative arts, the universities and communities. We want to help these businesses grow and play our part in starting new ones in the city. There are great businesses such as Sneinton Market Traders and Food Freedom already growing and organisations such as The Creative Quarter and The Hive stimulating activity.”
If you are interested in Nottingham Social Impact Fund contact Andy Croft via:
Andy.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07814 832852
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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’
‘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.’
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.
There are a number of interesting articles and discussion available on the financial and technology news boards at the moment. FinTech is something of a buzz word, being synonymous with innovation in banking technology. There is, however, a wider discourse at large. Can the major banks innovate generally?
UX Magazine recently published a detailed article, by Alexander Rauser, a tech specialist based in Dubai. Alexander argues that banks are currently responding to new advances in banking technology, perhaps rather slowly, and are now beginning to take a view of market changes and new start-ups in the finance sector.
We would argue that the the emergence of the Social Business sector, impact investing and the ideas behind Social Finance, are all part of this press of new ideas into a very traditional market place.
The Rauser thesis holds that major banks have recently made significant change in some areas…
“They have designed online banking processes that improve how banks can interact with their customers, how they can resolve problems, how they can provide information and largely improve the banking experience.
Back office systems have enabled banks to outsource administrative and customer service roles.
The chip and pin and contactless payment systems have revolutionised payment processes—cash is likely to soon be redundant”.
All well and good, but to survive, Rauser argues, the major names we know need to achieve significantly more, namely…
“Growth in revenue and profits.
Bridging gaps in products, services, and processes designed by the bank.
Saving operational costs.
Offering convenience to the customer and supporting customer retention.
Enabling staff with tools that help solve customer problems”.
Recent European on-line banking services have, like the list above, responded to the customer satisfaction challenge in new ways. Not ony by being available on-line, but integrating e-commerce functionality directly into their account provision to satisfy the non-technical solution demands of their customers.
Rauser goes on to discuss nine other key areas that banks can affect or implement in their relationship with customers to better deploy technology, trust and bank/client interaction.
Amongst these are some ideas that must cause traditional bankers of the old school some palpitations. These include extending reward programmes to include more direct ‘gamification’, thereby enhancing what the banks may discover about your lifestyle and spending choices.
The development of ‘social banking’, allowing customers to spend and interact with their bank on new media channels. Rauser cites the Commercial Bank of Dubai, which now has a Facebook app, allowing customers to interact and commit transactions on mobile or desktop ecosystems.
Another move, cited in the Rauser article is the wider introduction of the ‘concierge’ in personal banking. Long a feature for very wealthy clients, some banks are now extending this sort of service to ‘regular’ current account holders.
What all of the initiatives mentioned above seem to be about is communication.
Is this not a return to the town/regional banking interfaces of a previous century? A bank talking, empathetically, with confidence and professionalism to its client base. Where the customer has rising loyalty to his or her bank and approaches banking innovation with real confidence. Assured that the bank actually populates the same world as the client.
We would argue that, despite the new innovations in Social Finance and Social Business we would obviously champion, the approach of key players in the Social Finance market place is very much based upon and conditioned by, these ‘old is new’ interactions.
The opportunity to embrace social outcome as a key business aim, by complex organisations of any size, needs a banker who listens, is available and who understands both the metrics of the business and the philosophy of the declared social aim.
CDCT 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
“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.
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 Cable, Safia 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.
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.
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…
Achieving 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.
Roger, in conclusion, stressed the importance of thePublic Sector Social Value Actof 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.
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:
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Pike thesis for change, that will will channel mass collaboration, is based upon five key principles. We give them below.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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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