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…
£32k prize fund shared by top performing social businesses…
The NatWest SE100 Index has announced the winners of its 2015 awards. Five winners were chosen from 1120 social ventures listed on the NatWest SE100 Index in the UK. This year’s awards build a clear picture of a thriving social enterprise sector that is supporting economic growth in the UK and delivering positive social impact.
The 2015 winners demonstrate best business practice within the social sector, working to address some of the UK’s most acute social issues. This year’s winners are helping to get people from disadvantaged backgrounds back into work, sustaining the environment and revolutionising healthcare services for disabled children.
These inspiring organisations now share over £32,000 in prize money awarded today at Critical Mass, the event for social enterprise, in recognition of their work.
The EBP is a non-profit dedicated to developing the skills of young people through development and employment programmes. The EBP works to ensure its services provide young people with the opportunity to develop the skills that employers are looking for, striving to engage young people in work and society.
FRC Group runs three social businesses including furniture recycling and waste management projects. These produce financial profits and create a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives.
Kelvin Valley Honey works to sustain Scotland’s honey bee populations whilst contributing to the regeneration of disadvantaged communities through financing and supporting the development of beekeeping, creating employment for people housebound through disability and long term illnesses.
Andiamo works to meet the gap in demand and capacity that currently exists and is growing in the field of orthotics, printing 3D fully customised orthotics children with disabilities and long-term conditions.
Five Lamps delivers an integrated range of inclusion services to transform the lives of individuals and their families from disadvantaged communities, by helping them to find work, start their own business, improve their finances and improve their aspirations.
Aduna is an African-inspired health & beauty brand and social business working to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small-scale producers in Africa to create sustainable income – starting with the nutrient-dense superfoods Baobab and Moringa.
Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director Business Banking, NatWest, who presented the Growth Champion Award, said: “I want to congratulate all this year’s winners, not just on their success in the awards, but on the profound social impact that they are having on our society. NatWest is proud to have supported the SE100 since the beginning and we are committed to unlocking and nurturing entrepreneurial talent through access to finance, markets and expertise.”
Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society who presented the Trailblazing Newcomer award said of the NatWest SE100: “Social enterprises occupy a crucial place in our society. These organisations help tackle social challenges while contributing to economic growth. The SE100 Index is an important benchmark for the sector and I would encourage all social enterprises to sign up so we can build a truly compassionate society.”
(If ever there was a great example of how diverse, dynamic and effective the social (enterprise) sector is in the UK, then look no further than these awards…Ed.)
This Saturday, 10th October 2015, is Social Saturday– spend your cash with a social enterprise and get some real ‘community multiplier effect‘ for your money!
‘In the UK alone, there are 70,000 social enterprises, contributing £18.5 billion to the UK economy and employing almost a million people. This exciting movement is growing fast all around the world and we’re seeing a boom in start-ups being launched that combine doing business with doing good’. Source: Social Enterprise UK
At the Key Fund, research that shows that this confusion persists about what social enterprise is. Although two thirds of us support the idea of social enterprise, only a fifth (21 per cent) knew what social enterprises were.
‘Simply, it’s about buying or using services from businesses that make a positive difference in our community or on the environment. Social enterprises reinvest their profits into furthering their social mission. They have to have good business models to be financially sustainable, so they don’t rely on grants or charity’. Source: The Key Fund
Key Fund is itself a social enterprise. Matt Smith of the Key Fund, quoted in a recent article in The Guardian, speaking about the misconceptions about Social Enterprise in the UK stated ‘…what’s interesting is this misconception that social enterprise relies on grants or donations. We escaped a culture reliant on grants many years ago, and the main impetus of social enterprise is to ignite local economies, create jobs, and be profitable or at least sustainable in delivering their ethical aim.”
As part of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences – the Institute of Network Cultures have recently published another document in their innovative and ground breaking research and thought leadership programme.
The MoneyLab Reader – An intervention in Digital Economy, edited by Geert Lovink, Nathaniel Tkacz and Patricia de Vries, contains much that mainstream financiers may find provocative, but which takes positions which offer interesting new insights into the emerging digital economy.
This published work contains sections on new digital-economic forms, some subtle essays on how value can be driven and extracted from an open source, ‘Commons‘ based economy, as well as essays on Bitcoin and other complimentary currencies.
There is a strong section on the ‘Economies of the Imagination‘. This is mindful of one of the driving forces of the digital economy, which is the creation of art and artistic output through new mediums of distribution and payment.
Readers in the creative quarters across our region may find this section particularly energising.
‘MoneyLab, a network of artists, activists and researchers, founded in 2013 by the Amsterdam-based Institute of Network Cultures; its aim is to research, discuss, and experiment with (alternative) internet-related revenue models in the arts and beyond’.
In a powerful essay, The Long Game by Keith Hart, there is a telling argument that Georg Simmel’s prophesy of the withering of the physical substance of money and the emergence of revolutionary new social institutions supporting new, fiscally adroit communities of interest may already be upon us. (The Philosophy of Money: 1907).
Whilst this may not be new to mainstream bankers, the shift in fiscal power from lender to borrower, which this implies, will be a difficult concept for many.
However, in the newly emergent social finance sector we can see that new paradigms of fiscal effectiveness, lending tolerance and social outcome entwined in community values, are all currently abroad.
We commend this lengthy pamphlet to our readers…perhaps we are all living in a ‘Simmelcast’ world now?
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Nottingham’s Miles Waghorn has emerged the triumphant winner of the SEEM ‘New Business Idea’ Award at the inaugural Venturefest East Midlands with his innovative TechSilver e-commerce store.
Over 1000 delegates gathered at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham for Venturefest. A mix of entrepreneurs, business owners, academics, business services and representatives of large multinationals joined together to grow the East Midlands’ innovation eco-system.
Miles, a 22 year old social entrepreneur, secured the coveted SEEM award for his business idea that provides solutions for seniors. TechSilver, a ‘technology store for the later lifestyle’, provides innovative products and supportive services, designed, created or adapted for senior users ensuring they make the most of their purchases.
Roger Moors, CEO of SEEM said he was delighted that Miles had won the award adding that many senior members of society would now benefit from this support and be able to access technology that they may feel is a little intimidating at times.
Pictured, Miles receiving the SEEM Award from special guest, Simon Woodroffe OBE founder of ‘Yo’ Sushi’…
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‘The Social Business Dragons’ Den is part of the Building Enterprise project managed by Community Partnerships at the University of Nottingham and led by Roger Moors, CEO of SEEM and Jeanne Booth, Chair of the East Midlands Fellowship of the RSA’.
Want to pitch to the Dragons?
Have you got an idea for a social business to pitch to the Dragons? Here’s the rules:
You must be living in the city of Nottingham to pitch.
Pitch Perfect Event – 11th May 2015, 6.00pm to 9.00pm
Nottingham Writer’s Studio 25 Hockley NG1 1FP Nottingham
This workshop will take you through the steps for preparing your pitch and equip you to present your ideas to different audiences. It will be invaluable for anyone who wants to practice their pitch and improve their chances of winning a prize at the Social Business ‘Dragon’s Den’ on 14th May.
If you are a UK based social enterprise, and bursting with good ideas, then this year’s Ignite Challenge could be just for you.
Do you have ideas that can be deployed, to enable the imaginative and efficient use of energy resources, which will contingently change people’s lives…then the Ignite Challenge 2015 is a ‘must look at’ for you?
‘We are looking for the brightest business ideas that use energy to make a difference in people’s lives’.
You can secure, if successful, between 50,000 Pounds to 2 million Pounds in order to make your idea a reality. The finalists will be asked to pitch their idea to a panel of energy industry and social enterprise experts during June 2015.
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.
There is a new course, just released on Future Learn, which teaches you the basics of business innovation in any environment. Future Learn offers free courses on-line, many of which can add certificated outcomes to your professional development learning.
The Social Business sector is all about innovation, in financing, in management and in operational delivery – all with strong social value and outcome in mind.
As well as giving you a chance to meet and network with businesses already active in this emerging sector, The Hub can be instrumental in helping you to formulate your new social business idea, or to pivot an existing business strand into delivery on social terms.
The Hub will contain a variety of Social Business practitioners to share ideas with and seek support from, if required, including…