Monthly Archives: October 2013

Nottingham, a city of making

Academic underpinning of development - Nottingham has two universities...
Academic underpinning of development – Nottingham has two universities…

We featured the early results for GDP from the Office of National Statistics for Quarter 2 in 2013 recently. These are now firm and the results are detailed below. The slight air of optimism about UK Ltd continues to be felt, we would argue.

UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.7% between Q1 2013 and Q2 2013, unrevised from the Second Estimate of GDP published 23 August 2013. Between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013, GDP in volume terms increased by 0.4%, revised up from the previously estimated 0.3% increase.

We were also delighted to read a recent article in the national press, where Nottingham, our home city, was cited by the Governor of the Bank of England as a ‘bell-weather’ for the UK economy. With data showing that nine out of ten jobs in the city are currently in the service sector, a move back to ‘creative manufacturing’, in all it’s diversity, is a great echo to the high Victorian energy of the city.

Katie Allen, writing in The Guardian, described Mark Carney’s view of Nottingham as a city where growth was rising, but that the quality of that growth and innovation was also significant. Gone are bicycles and cigarettes, but they are replaced by significant entities in bio-science, engineering and the arts/creative sector.

Examples in our city include the creation of new Creative Quarter Community Interest Company, as well as the delivery of a new BioCity development to foster the city’s lead in the sciences.

With the development of the Creative Quarter, it is great to see social business as a key plank in the city’s developing enterprise structure.

If, as a social business looking to make an inward investment, or to explore the context of Nottingham a start-up or social business development setting – you can find the city’s Growth Plan online here.

The team at SEEM, with our expertise in social business start-up and skills in delivering social finance would be happy to help you shape your project too. Contact us here…

Interesting web resources:

Mapping the Moment – a map based examination of the ‘cultural industries’ in Nottingham between 1857 – 1867

Knitting Together – an examination of the East Midlands knitting industry, 1600 to 1970. (Much changes in the economic landscape for our city and its hinterland, but much remains the same. New technologies, mergers, enterprise rise and fall…)

Ethical business with a social dimension...
Ethical business with a social dimension…

Social Business – the larger market

What are we not discussing?
What are we not discussing?

Social Business – the larger market for social finance and social impact

Next month I’ll be making my annual homage south to the ‘Good Deals’ conference in London to immerse myself in all things ‘Social Finance’ ( ) No doubt there will be a host of new investment vehicles to discover, angel investors to meet and a plethora of organisations looking for exciting investible propositions.

And when I arrive in the throbbing metropolis that is the epicentre for this rapidly developing industry, I’ll be asking one question; ‘When are you going to deal with the elephant in the room and redefine the market for social finance?

The brave new world of Social Finance shouldn’t be confined to expanding social enterprises or transforming charities; the market it simply isn’t big enough. It has to be about a much broader Social Business marketplace defined by an organisations’ ability to make a difference in society and not their legal persuasion.

Organisations and individuals looking to ‘Invest for Impact’ in the Social Business marketplace need to understand that there’s much to be done in terms of helping to shape, develop and widen access to social finance. We need better routes to market through Universities, LEPS and players such as the Chambers and the Federation of Small Businesses. We need well developed brokerage facilities, better physical access arrangements and much wider appreciation that at time when banks are loathe to part with their money, social finance can be conduit to growth, jobs and social impact.
Some would argue that it’s’ easier to socialise the private sector than it is to commercialise the third sector.

Whether you believe that or not, the two markets are not mutually exclusive and social finance needs to expand its horizons and seize the moment. Seldom can there have been a better time to provide finance to businesses that are willing to embed social and/or environmental impact in their operations. We simply need to provide a much greater awareness of the opportunity and the means to help investees articulate the difference they can make in people’s lives.

Celebrating the Good Deals Conference

Good Deals Logo pictureTo celebrate the Good Deals Conference, SEEM are offering a FREE tailored support opportunity for any organisation or individual that is intent on delivering social and/or environmental impact and want to access Social Finance to gear up their operations. To understand more about social finance and how to access it call telephoneIconMini0115 900 3299 before 31st October.

Roger H. Moors

Roger Moors is CEO of SEEM (Supporting Social Business) based in Nottingham. With a background in banking, Roger and SEEM broker social finance across the East Midlands and currently hold contracts with a number of intermediaries and funders including the Key Fund and Social Incubator North.

Ethical business with a social dimension...
Ethical business with a social dimension…