Big Society Capital, the world’s first social bank, made £93m of new investment commitments in 2013, boosting the social sector, according to its annual report.
Launched in 2011 with the aim of growing the social investment markets, the organisation invests in bodies that provide finance and other support to social sector enterprises, making it easier for social organisations to access the capital they need to make sustainable changes.
Its annual report states that more than £145m of social investment finance is now available to charities and social enterprises in funds. As of the end of 2013, it had received £225.4m of funding from the Reclaim Fund and four UK high street banks. In addition, with matched funding of 116% from third party investors, cumulative commitments total £149.1m.
Harvey McGrath, chair of Big Society Capital, said, “Acting as a market champion and using our investment to encourage other to invest alongside us, we’ve continued to develop the social investment market.
“We’ve done this by funding existing and new organisation, continuing to drive interest in and understanding of the market within the social sector and with mainstream investors, and working to improve the policy environment.”
McGrath added that that internationally and in the UK, social investment had “stepped up a gear in 2013”, with the introduction of a tax relief for social investment announced at the budget in March at a rate of 30%. At the time, Big Society Capital estimated that the relief could unlock nearly £500m in finance for charities and social enterprises over the next five years.
Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of Big Society Capital, commented, “A strong social investment market has the power to change lives. Our mandate is to grow the social investment market, and this year we have started to see that happen.
“More funds are available to a diverse range of charities and social enterprises, and organisations are putting that finance to use across a range of social issues, from youth unemployment to elderly social care.”
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