Covid-19 has highlighted the fact that many common forms of social investment are inflexible and have failed the social enterprises they seek to support, says Ben Smith, head of social investment at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. But being patient and flexible is not without its challenges.
Alternatives to traditional bank lending have scaled 20-fold to £3,388m from £169m in just eight years, with property funds and non-bank lending on the up, reveals annual market update from the UK’s impact investing wholesaler.
As foundations plan to boost the UK’s emergency loan fund for social enterprises, our exclusive interview with the UK’s top impact CIO, Jeremy Rogers, reveals that mergers, as well as money, may be needed to save struggling social investors.
Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are being offered to social enterprises across the UK thanks to a new Coronavirus Response Fund launched by NatWest Social and Community Capital, the bank's social investment charity.
Where are the angels? Equity and ‘equity-like’ investment is a key growth tool for many social ventures but the impact investing community has failed to build trust, demand or the right products, new research suggests.
Three women took the lead in starting a new trade association for community finance. "None of our male colleagues felt in a position to take that risk", recalls Niamh Goggin. Dial forward 20 years and the sector's leaders are male, pale and privileged.
It sometimes seemed like a sector put together with cardboard and pieces of string – and being a social investor can still feel lonely... Big Issue Invest boss Danyal Sattar reflects on 20 years of community investment in the UK.
NatWest took a big leap of faith in setting up its own community enterprise fund, says Bernie Morgan, a trustee of NatWest Social & Community Capital, recalling the early days of support for responsible investors.