Vote now for the “Good Deal of the Decade” award

Good deals deserve to be celebrated. That’s why at this year’s Good Deals + Beyond Good Business conference the voting opens for the “Good Deal of the Decade” award. Nominations have been coming in over several weeks, with 10 deals now on the shortlist. 

Delegates at the Good Deals conference will be able to vote for the deal they think should win through their event app – but if you are not able to attend the conference, you can cast your vote here.

The voting will be kept open for the next two months, with the winning deal to become a part of the NatWest SE100 Awards.

The nominees are:


  1. Deal Name: CAN Mezzanine Old St Nominator: CAN Invest


CAN Invest secured £11.5m from Triodos Bank & Charity Bank in 2009 towards a new CAN office building. Since then, the building’s value has increased to £24m, creating £12.5m social impact value.


The building houses over 400 individuals working for social impact at below-market rents which are future proofed against gentrification through ownership rather than leasehold models. It enabled CAN to become a leading ‘social office’ provider in London.


The nominators said:

“This transaction was the cornerstone for CAN's ability to move forward and purchase its Loman St CAN Mezzanine facility and a further space in Bermondsey designed specifically for the Children’s Deaf Charity Auditory Verbal to meet their specific requirements.”


  1. Deal Name: Glenwyvis Distillery Community Share Issue Nominator: Crowdfunder


John, a retired Army officer and helicopter pilot, had a dream of resurrecting Dingwall’s craft whisky heritage. His idea for GlenWyvis Distillery was born out of three former distilleries: Ben Wyvis in Dingwall; Glenskiach in Evanton and Ferintosh. He wanted a high level of local ownership for GlenWyvis, so he turned to Crowdfunder and shares were offered to supporters living in the surrounding 'IV' postcode areas for just £250. Wider UK and international investors were offered opportunities starting from £750, up to a maximum of £100,000.


The share issue was live on the Crowdfunder platform in 2016, with an initial target of £1.5m, the offer went on to receive £2.5m invested by over 2400 local investors. The money went towards bringing whisky production back to Dingwall after 90 years, by building a new distillery and visitor centre. The business, which is 75% Scottish-owned, is now protected from ever falling outside the community's control.


The nominators said:

“Thanks to the Crowd's backing, GlenWyvis will create new jobs, attract tourists to the area and put Dingwall on the world whisky map once again.”


  1. Deal Name: Resonance/St Mungo’s Homelessness Property Funds Nominator: Resonance


After many months of planning the deal between Resonance and St. Mungo’s Real Lettings launched the first fund 2013 and there are now three funds: Real Lettings Property Fund, Real Lettings Property Fund 2 and National Homelessness Property Fund.


Resonance developed the three funds with St Mungo’s in response to the lack of transitional accommodation, where rising numbers are at risk of homelessness. The deal is structured so that Resonance sources and purchases two-bedroom properties and leases them to St. Mungo’s ‘Real Lettings’ team, which then rents them affordably to suitable families/ individuals.


Combined, the three funds are housing 1,293 people, of which 658 are children.  It is hoped they will house over 2,500 tenants through their lifetime. Their solution is making a serious contribution to improving the lives of a large number of people in London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Oxford.


The nominators said:

“The deal has offered a route to independent living for more than 1,293 people (658 children) and this number is growing daily, enabling them to build a life, gain employment and less dependency on state funding.”


  1. Deal Name: Our Power social purpose bond Nominator: Ethex


Fuel poverty is a big problem throughout the UK, with around 3.5 million households estimated to be living in fuel poverty. Lower income households are often unfairly penalised by energy suppliers as they end up paying considerably more for their energy.


Our Power needed the investment to tackle this issue. A 3-year unsecured £4.4m transferable bond went live on the Ethex positive investment platform on the 21st October 2017. As a result of the £4.4m investment raise Our Power intends to grow its business to be able to provide many more customers with an affordable standard fuel tariff.


The nominators said:
“Our Power was able to move ahead with their 5-year business plan to provide more than 120,000 additional customers with affordable energy and create 200 jobs in areas with high unemployment.”


  1. Deal Name: Pioneering sustainable innovative shoemaking in Ethiopia  Nominator: Soul of Africa


Soul of Africa creates stable, contracted employment opportunities in Ethiopia, offering quality skill training (a minimum of 450 people will get directly employed making 300,000 shoes/year).


Clarks shoes, Vivobarefoot, DIFID/Enterprise Partners, Pittards UK, JA Clark Charitable Trust invested £1.6 million to Soul of Africa in 2017. This provided crucial funds for employing 83 people, making 23,500 shoes and getting a pre-order of 30,000 pairs for 2018. Together, this will generate on average £50,000 of charitable donation from the sales of shoes.


The nominators said:
“The funds provided helped SOA create stable, contracted employment opportunities, offering quality skill training.”


  1. Deal Name: HCT Group Nominator: Bridges Fund Management  


The partnership between HCT and Bridges represented a significant step forward for the nascent social investment market in the UK.

Back in 2010, HCT was a highly-regarded social enterprise bus operator looking to achieve a step change in its growth and profitability – and use these higher profits to provide community transport services to the elderly and less able. Bridges had just raised the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, a pioneering new vehicle designed to provide quasi-equity for social enterprises and charities – and to provide strategic and operational support for its investee organisations.

In 2010, HCT raised £4m of investment in a round led by Bridges. This was one of the biggest social investment deals ever raised at the time, and gave HCT the balance-sheet strength it needed to compete with private sector operators.  

As a result of that initial funding – which allowed HCT to prove its model and double its revenues – in 2015 HCT was able to raise this further £10m round of social investment.


The nominators said:

“HCT’s success has shown commissioners that it’s possible to deliver positive social impact alongside high standards of service. HCT has since been able to win multiple contracts in competition with the private sector, proving that an impact-driven approach can be a source of commercial advantage.”


  1. Deal Name: My Time CIC preference shares Nominator: Big Issue Invest


My Time CIC is an innovative mental health services provider with a difference. The service’s users owned the business and provided peer support, changing the dynamic between patient and client.  


Big Issue Invest invested £200k into My Time as preference shares in 2012. This was one of the first investments of preference shares in a Community Interest Company in the UK, and it enabled BII to provide much needed patient capital to fuel growth. The investment enabled My Time To Grow which led it to finally merging with the charity Richmond Fellowship.


The nominators said:

“As a consequence of the deal, My Time has had considerable success working with a broad range of individuals underserved by mainstream provision, including those alienated by traditional provision because of cultural reasons.”


  1. Deal Name: Goodstart Nominator: Social Ventures Australia


Social Ventures Australia came together with approximately 50 investors, including 41 social investors, National Australia Bank, four charities and the Australian government to raise a total of £53M for social enterprise Goodstart in 2008-9. The deal financed the purchase of 700 childcare centres from administration, and facilitated the rebranding of the ABC Learning into Goodstart Early Learning. Goodstart Early Learning ensures all surplus funds are reinvested to improve early childhood learning and care at their childcare centres.


The nominators said:
“Goodstart Early Learning as it is now known, has rebranded the ABC Learning childcare centres and is transforming these centres to ensure more than 70 000 Australian children get the very best start in life.”


  1. Deal Name:  Vanguard Laundry Services Nominator:Social Ventures Australia


Social Ventures Australia brought together Australian banks and social investors to raise £3m to create Vanguard Laundry Services in 2016. The transaction featured more than 55 parties, including 3 lenders. Financial close was achieved in June 2016 and the laundry started operations in December 2016. To date, the laundry has hired 23 long term unemployed people with a mental health condition and provided 10 people with career development pathway support. VLS is an innovative enterprise launched by the Toowoomba Clubhouse based in Toowoomba, Queensland.


The capital will enable PEL to successfully build its state-of-art facility and have a $600K working capital buffer for first year bumps. Based on extensive financial modelling and industry consultation, the debt is sustainable and should be comfortably repaid over the term of the loans.


The nominators said:

“Within 2 years, we have successfully created a social enterprise from scratch with $6M funding, are well on the way to financial sustainability, are achieving great social outcomes, and are targeting thousands of lives improved in the next 10 years.”


10. Deal Name: Village Underground (Hackney Arts Centre) Nominator: Arts Impact Fund (at Nesta)


Arts Impact Fund, Big Issue Invest, and Triodos Bank signed a £1.3m deal in 2017 to take on three leases in Stoke Newington which now form Hackney Arts Centre. A commercial lender pulled out of the initial deal at the last minute, and the gap was filled by the three social investors working together.


The deal brings together a commercial entity (Village Underground) and a charity (Community Music) to deliver social impact in the community. This work is underpinned by an innovative partnership agreement between the two entities that has been strengthened with investor input.


Through the partnership, Community Music will have access to dedicated training facilities as well as industry standard equipment and technical staff, using these resources to deliver its programmes to 250 young people, from mainly disadvantaged backgrounds aged 14-25, every year. A key outcome will be to increase the number of young people from lower attaining education groups entering higher education, training, employment (particularly in the creative industries) and further learning.


The nominators said:

“East London currently lacks mid-scale (1,000-2,000 capacity) performing arts venue. The Hackney Arts Centre will fill this gap, providing a career ladder for talented emerging artists, contributing to a thriving multi-arts ecosystem.”