Transformative….social thinking …social capital .
“Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: ‘There are few moments like this when something happens that can really change the world. We’ve all heard about a small charity or social enterprise sweeping away entrenched local social problems. But we have not seen a significant commitment to help social innovations grow and be implemented on the national stage until now.
‘Big Society Capital will undoubtedly change this and unlock the money that charities and social enterprises need to grow when a big opportunity comes along. This government is proud to support this achievement. I want to thank Sir Ronald Cohen and Nick O’Donohoe and everyone else, including the banks, who have made this a reality so quickly.’
Sir Ronald Cohen commented: ‘Today’s launch of Big Society Capital Group marks the culmination of ten years of thought and effort by many individuals and organisations. It is the first of a new kind of organisation devoted to providing finance in the interest of society. The depth and breadth of The Big Society Trust and Big Society Capital boards, combined with an anticipated £600m in initial funding will enable BSC to attract additional capital to the social sector from charitable foundations, institutional investors, companies and private individuals.
Sir Ronald said that innovations such as social impact bonds and a burgeoning array of organisations operating across the social sector ‘suggest that we are on the cusp of a revolution’.
He added: ‘The social sector now has the prospect of attracting funding in the UK to support social entrepreneurs, much as venture capital and private equity did to support business some three decades ago. We very much welcome the equity investment by the Merlin banks and a strategic relationship with them in developing the market for social investment in Britain.’
More announcements on social impact bonds (SIBs) are expected within the next few weeks – with up to four new ‘bonds’ bringing private investors, public and civil society organisations together in a payment-by-results model designed to change the way some of the most challenging social issues are financed. The first SIB is already in operation at Peterborough prison.
To support the early development of Big Society Capital, the Big Lottery Fund has set up an Investment Committee to make some initial investments. Applications for investment should be initially made to the Investment Committee. Details of the fund and application process can be found on the Big Fund website.”