Global social innovation round-up #11

SEUK announce West Midlands merger

Social enterprise UK (SEUK) and Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM) have announced they are to partner more strategically and integrate their activities over the coming year. Together they will have over 1,000 members.

CEO of SEUK Peter Holbrook CBE said: “Together, we believe we can deliver the very best for our social enterprise members. We have much to learn from the pioneering work that the SEWM team has been doing, in areas such as social value, housing and membership services.”

Malaysian social enterprise blueprint launched

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced the launch of a three year strategy to develop the country’s social enterprise ecosystem. The blueprint was unveiled at the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and “aims to develop a self-sustaining, equitable and people-centric social enterprise sector by 2018”. It will do this by providing support directly to social entrepreneurs and by investing in social economy infrastructure.

The social enterprise executive director at MaGIC Ehon Chan said: “Although social entrepreneurship is relatively new in Malaysia, we are seeing trailblazers like Biji-Biji, The Truly Loving Company (TLC) and Dialogue in the Dark, which set the examples of how business can do good.”

India-based social incubator partners with Swiss impact investors

Social enterprise incubator Vilgro and Swiss-based impact investor Rianta Capital Zurich are entering into a new partnership that aims to provide “equity funding and comprehensive post-funding incubation support for early-stage social enterprises in India”. 

Rianta Capital’s Artha Initiative will provide a minimum of six companies every year with equity investment of up to approximately US$100,000. Chief investment officer of Villgro Mukesh Sharma said: “This partnership creates an excellent synergy between both sides that will allow us to significantly expand and deepen the impact of our activities. We hope that this will set basis for many more collaborative efforts in the impact space.”

Social investment saves key dementia support centre from closure in Wigan

A £325,000 loan from Unity Trust Bank and a £100,000 investment from The Key Fund have secured the future of dementia support centre Reflections Wigan CIC. Duncan Molyneaux, director at Reflections said: “At a time when many local services are closing down, people with dementia along with their families and carers absolutely rely on the care and support provided by Reflections. 

“Thanks to the loan funding, we were able to buy a new property nearby and move our service overnight, meaning the move didn’t impact our service users, a big priority for us.”

High demand for philanthropic advice from UK’s wealthiest 

New research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) reveals that the appetite for professional advice on charitable giving is increasing among individuals with a minimum of £1m of liquid assets. 

66% of the UK’s wealthiest people “think professional advisers such as lawyers, accountants and wealth managers, could do more to cover the area as part of their work” and 73% think that “philanthropy advice should be a free or low cost service”, according to CAF’s report

Scottish government gears up to host international ethical finance event

The 2015 Global Ethical Finance Forum (GEFF) will be hosted by the Scottish government in Edinburgh on the 1st and 2nd of September. The forum – which is organised by Middle East Global Advisors in conjunction with the Islamic Finance Council and Thomson Reuters – provides a platform for key stakeholders from the ethical finance industry around the world to meet, collaborate and discuss untapped opportunities.

The forum aims to attract people from a variety of different areas within ethical finance, for example; sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI); environmental, social and governance (ESG) screens; and Islamic finance.


Header image: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photo credit: David McKelvey