Global social innovation round-up #20

Shadow civil society minister appointed in the UK

Anna Turley, the Labour and Cooperative MP for Redcar, has been appointed shadow minister for civil society with responsibility for social enterprise. She said: “Social enterprise is a growing and vibrant sector in the UK...It is important it receives support so that its contribution can continue to grow. 

“Access to funding and finance remains one of the biggest barriers, with regional variations in availability. There is also progress to be made on the implementation of the Social Value Act so that opportunities for social enterprises and charities in delivering public services can be realised. I look forward to working with the sector to help address its needs and ambitions.”

The appointment has been welcomed by Peter Holbrook CBE, Social Enterprise UK’s CEO, who said: “We are looking forward to working with Anna on behalf of the social enterprise sector. With communities really set to feel the effects of the cuts in the coming years, the continued implementation of the Social Value Act is vital - social enterprise providers can help local councils and public sector commissioners ride out the storm.”

Goldman Sachs social impact bond pays off

The State of Utah in the US has started paying Goldman Sachs back for the money it invested in a social impact bond (SIB) designed to improve early childhood education. Goldman and American venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker together committed $7m to finance high quality preschool education for 595 low income three and four year olds. 

Of these 595 children, 110 four year olds were identified as likely to use special education services when they started school. Of those that attended the SIB-financed preschool education in the 2013-14 school year, only one went on to require special education support during their kindergarten year. The 110 students will continue to be monitored throughout their time at school, generating further success payments based on the number who avoid use of special education services each year. With fewer children requiring special education services and remedial services after attending the preschool programme, school districts and government entities are saving money. Total savings calculated in Year 1 for Cohort 1 are $281,550. 

This announcement comes months after it was revealed the first SIB Goldman had invested in has failed to deliver on the agreed social outcomes, and thus failed to deliver financial returns to investors. 

Local council prioritises social value in the UK

Bristol City Council has launched a consultation asking citizens, businesses and organisations to contribute to the development of the council’s Social Value Policy. The consultation opened this week and will run for 12 weeks in total. The council has said it aims to strengthen its relationships with the business community and social enterprises alongside voluntary and community organisations through this policy. The aim is to ensure that when it buys goods or pays for a service, these decisions are taken after considering whether there is an additional positive economic, social or environmental benefit to Bristol.

Councillor Geoff Gollop, deputy Mayor of Bristol said: “I welcome the move to introduce this policy after an open consultation. Only by gathering the views of the wider community can we truly be sure that this policy will deliver benefits for the city as a whole. I see social value as a way of recognising the real benefit to our local communities.”

Sankalp sets its sights on Indonesia

Having developed successful convenings on social entrepreneurship in India and East Africa, the Sankalp Forum is to expand its reach into Southeast Asia next month. The inaugural Sankalp Southeast Asia Summit in Jakarta aims to put the spotlight on the region as “the next frontier of innovation and entrepreneurship for social impact”. The summit will involve discussions and debates on a number of issues including gender lens investing and corporate partnerships with social enterprise. It aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the social enterprise, corporate, charity and public sectors to promote more collaboration in the region.. 

To find out more about the Sankalp Southeast Asia Summit, please click here.

North west social enterprise delivers over £13.5m of social value

The First Ark Group’s annual social accounts reveal the social enterprise has generated more than £13.5m of social value to businesses and communities in the north west of England. First Ark provides housing, regeneration and facilities management services. It is made up of five companies including the KHT housing association, which provides homes to over 27,000 people through its 14,000 homes in Knowsley on Merseyside. First Ark is also home to Vivark, a social enterprise providing facilities management services to a range of clients in the North West.

Bob Taylor, CEO of the First Ark Group, said: “The work we have undertaken this year has been critically evaluated in the social accounts, allowing us to appreciate the real impact that has been delivered, both locally and nationally, and to truly understand how this correlates against what we initially set out to do. We are delighted with the social and economic impact achieved by the First Ark Group and our key partners over the past year.”

To read the First Ark Group’s 2014/2015 social accounts, please click here.


This year Pioneers Post is partnering with the 8th annual Social Finance Forum. The event will engage and profile leaders in Canada’s diverse social finance scene and capture advancements from the world stage. The 2 day conference on November 12th and 13th will include talks and panel discussions with over 70 speakers, networking receptions and a $50,000 social enterprise award. To find out more, please click here


Header image: Gunung Batok, Indonesia

Photo credit: Michael Day