A series of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) funds across UK cities are set to launch and offer both a social and financial return, the funds are from social impact investment specialist Resonance and will be sponsored by wealth manager UBS.
The first SITR fund aims to launch in the next few months in Bristol, where more than a dozen social enterprises capable of receiving investment have been identified. The plan is to grow the number of funds over the next 2-3 years, with each being awarded £5 million. If Brussels sanctions the UK government’s proposals to extend the scheme then each fund could be considerably larger.
Jamie Broderick, CEO of UBS Wealth Management, said, “Following a very successful launch of our UK Philanthropy services in 2014, we wanted to widen the opportunities for our clients to use their wealth to deliver a positive social impact.
“The SITR fund will hopefully enable them to do this whilst at the same time realising a clear financial return.”
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He added, “Inner city poverty is all around us and we want to be part of the solution. History has shown that we cannot expect governments and charitable organisations to resolve enduring social issues on their own. The SITR fund will hopefully connect capital markets to the social sector and that offers a potentially innovative agent of change.”
The funds aim to use a new government initiative that will empower social enterprises to tackle inner city poverty whilst also offering a financial return for investors. The issues that the funds will address range from job creation and skills development to reducing the cost of living and alleviating long-term unemployment.
Resonance has previously spoken to Blue & Green Tomorrow about the innovative way it connects social organisations with responsible investors. Managing director of the organisation, Dan Brewer explained that Resonance exists to act as a bridge between sources of capital and social enterprises.
Speaking about the new SITR funds, Brewer said, “There is a real opportunity for funds to address the problems of inequality in our cities where deprivation and wealth live in close proximity.
“Social Investment Tax Relief is the key to the development of these funds. It simultaneously drives don the cost of capital for social enterprises who need funding to scale up the impact of their project, and reduces risk for investors in that they receive 30% of thier return up from through the tax relief.”
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