Cabinet Office celebrate social investment trailblazers
Leaders who have helped pioneer the growth and impact of the global social investment market have been recognised in an awards ceremony held in the heart of the city of London.
The Omidyar Network and Big Venture Challenge were two of the winners at the first Social Investment Awards hosted by the Cabinet Office and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which aim to highlight the impact social investment is having on communities in the UK and around the world.
We want to do this because we think its the right thing to do.
Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of RBS, said: "We're delighted to be partnering with the Cabinet Office on what I think will be a series of awards of this nature celebrating the pioneers of social investment.
"We want to do this because we think its the right thing to do...We have 3,300 customers in the UK which are not for profit organisations that have revenues of more than £1m a year. This is a big sector for us commercially, as well as being the right thing to be involved in."
Triodos Bank walked home with the Investor Access Award which recognises those striving ahead to create an inclusive market that caters for both the small scale investors looking to do more with their monthly savings to the social investor giants seeking to make their multi-million pound resources go further in tackling social and environmental issues.
Whitni Thomas, investor relations manager at Triodos Bank, said: "Triodos Bank was founded in 1980 for the sole purpose of connecting individuals in order to get investment into organisations and projects that produce a positive impact on people and the planet.
"We've worked over the years to expand that access by pioneering the use of different tax reliefs – community tax relief for example – through Bristol together and Midlands together and more recently on using social investment tax relief on one of the first social impact bonds."
Key Fund – which is a social enterprise that is helping to shape new kinds of industry that has social impact at its core – was recognised with the Community Impact Award and Threadneedle and Big Issue Invest's UK Social Bond Fund received the New Markets Award.
Within his celebratory speech Sir Philip Hampton also made some more sobering remarks about the challenges the sector still faces. "I think this will be a sector that will grow but I think there's also an awful lot to do to make the totalitly of the investment case appropriate for the full range of investors that may eventually get there.
"We're all very familiar with financial measures and risks but actually measuring what social returns are I think is still a working progress for everybody and this is a global issue, not just a UK one," he said.
Photo credit: Cabinet Office