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’ (www.good-dealsuk.com ) 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
To 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 0115 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.