To the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham this morning, 17th July 2014, for a massive double espresso shot of Social Finance. Two hours of concise advice, proven experience and excitement for a sector under change.
Hosted by our own Roger Moors of SEEM, the assembled audience convened for coffee and muffins at 7.45am, more about the venue at the bottom of this article, all looking forward to a series of key speakers on expanding, developing and capitalising on our growing sector, courtesy of Big Society Capital.
Councillor Nick McDonald – Nottingham City Council:
Cllr. McDonald was delighted to announce to the gathered social finance bankers and intermediaries that the City now had a new Nottingham Social Impact Fund. This new source of funding for the enterprising small business comprises a pot of £1 million pounds, which, argued Cllr. McDonald, coupled to a revised City Procurement Policy, would heavily lean the city towards a paradigm shift in its industrial base, as well as building on existing entrepreneurial energies in the city. A new fund is always welcome for the business sector, particularly at very good rates.
You can discover more about the life and career of Cllr. McDonald here.
Geetha Rabindrakumar – Social Sector Lead, Big Society Capital:
Geetha began by offering the audience a classic definition of social investment, and underscored research that indicates, whilst societal problems will magnify and public sector funding will continue to diminish, it is the social sector, with its thirst for new forms of finance that will drive the sector forward in the next few years.
Underscoring the role of Big Society Capital as a finance wholesaler, Geetha stressed the importance of intermediaries in process, and that BSC will be looking to exhaust its coffers on innovative projects, which give investors their money back, provide a return on that investment and achieve social impact and delivery.
A clear presentation of roles and responsibilities in the sector, now and in the future.
Sam Tarff – CEO of the Key Fund:
Sam delivered a pacy and detailed analysis of the work of The Key Fund for his audience. Outlining the Fund’s history, but also encouraging intermediaries with the news of the quality of relationships the Fund enjoys, it’s flexibility and pace in moving from application to decision. A refreshing approach in a finance oriented sector, we believe.
The Fund also illustrated how innovative and enterprising communities and individuals can be. Sam offered the audience examples of Fund development clients as diverse as a Therapeutic Comedy Training Academy, a Virtual Human Body for drug testing, community wind farms and and solar photo-voltaic energy installations on community buildings.
The Key Fund deserves it’s key player status as a driver of fiscal energy for projects across the North of England. Discover The Key Fund on–line here.
Peter Ware – Partner at Browne Jacobson LLP:
Peter gave the assembled audience a very informative over-view of Public Sector Mutual’s development. Organisations that move into the social business sector, ofen with existing customer bases and public sector ethics and philosophy.
Reminding us that the sector could see demand for social finance rise to £500 million by 2015, Peter, nonetheless, did not shy away from some of the issues to be wrangled with in creating Mutuals in a local authority setting.
If you have clients looking to enter this business environment, discover Peter’s practice, Browne Jacobson on-line here…
Matt Smith – Fund Manager, The Big Lottery:
Matt explained the heavyweight nature of The Big Lottery, and how it was looking to develop agile, relevant and timely funding solutions in the future, particularly to benefit the social finance sector.
Working across three strategic layers the Fund is looking at how demand, intermediaries and the supply side of funding can all be tempered and flexed to respond to the needs of risk capital with a social mission at its centre.
Richard Nicol – CEO of Midlands Together
Richard gave us a ‘rally cry’ speech, moving across his own initiation into social business, after being a banker for twenty years and finding himself re-tailoring a hotel group in an area of social need.
Raising £3 million pounds, only a year ago, using the social business’s innovative model of housing development, coupled to partnerships in the social enterprise sector to provide training and skills support for ex-offenders.
So successful has Richard’s ministration been that profits are reported, funding need has been reined back, temporarily, and the business is set fair to exceed it’s targets of 15 property renovations undertaken per annum and with 150 clients supported through their training process into employment by the end of this five year bond period.
Midlands Together, using a revision of the ‘Together’ model developed in Bristol, describes its work as property development with a heart. Real asset development, care for people and delivery of profits. We were inspired.
Find out more about this exciting, innovative development process here…
We had our breakfast convocation at the Galleries of Justice in the Lace Market quarter of Nottingham. In the heart of the city’s creative area, this museum, educational service and charity offers a fascinating series of spaces for events.
We met in the courtroom. You can see from the narrative above, all our star witnesses for the defense of Social Finance were sparkling. The verdict? Guilty of enthusiasm and expectation for the future.
If you would like to explore the venue on-line and make contact with the corporate hospitality team, see more here…