Big Society Capital makes first investment commitments
Big Society Capital (BSC) - the social investment bank launched early this year - has announced details of its first investment commitments.
The total funds committed at this stage are at £37m to 12 organisations out of the overall 130 which applied. Big Society Capital's overall investment budget is £600m (unchanged from its launch in April this year).
Nick O'Donohue, the chief executive of Big Society Capital, told the The World At One's Martha Kearney (www.bbc.co.uk) that the bank "is clearly going to be substantially cheaper than commercial forms of finance," adding that lenders are seeking to balance financial security with making a social impact.
Commenting on the announcement of Big Society Capital’s new social investment commitments, Stephanie Poole, director of social Investment at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “The commitment by Big Society Capital to social investment is very encouraging and a real boost to the sector. The 12 projects they are helping to get off the ground reflect real diversity and address the kind of innovation and infrastructure-building that is needed.”
She continued: “Charities and social enterprises need investment to flourish at a time when mainstream banks aren’t lending, which means offering loans at affordable rates and ensuring that new ventures are sustainable for the long term.
“It is a very exciting time for the social investment sector. Big Society Capital’s research suggests that social investment demand is strong and could hit £1bn by 2016. To make that a reality we need to work with charities and social enterprises to ensure they are ready to make the most of investment and can work with new initiatives such as government payment-by-results contracts.”
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