Big Society Capital: Latest social impact investment news

Hi my name is Jeremy Rogers, Chief
Investment Officer at Big Society Capital. At Big Society Capital we exist
to bring together ideas, expertise and investment to help improve people’s
lives in the UK. It’s been a particularly active few months for us on the investment side so we thought it might be worth giving an update of some of the
things that we’re working on. We have over thirty funds in development across our priority areas of place, early action and homes. We all know that to tackle
issues such as poverty and inequality you need thriving and inclusive
communities. We believe that place-based investment has an important role to play in this. We recently launched in Bristol a £10 million fund with Bristol and Bath Regional Capital. This looks to address local issues such as no child goes hungry and economic inclusion. In early action we know many significant
social issues can be prevented before they escalate. Again, we believe investment has a really important role to play here. One area we’re working in
is childhood obesity. We’re working with the foundation Guys & St Thomas to try and scale some healthy alternatives to the current food brands. Another, is around making more facilities available for young people to exercise. That will be our first fund with a national governing sporting body. Another important area in early action for us is preventing mental ill-health. We recently launched a report with the Wellcome Trust and other partners around improving the evidence we have of tech-based interventions in this area In homes we have big ambitions. We want to make the housing system work better for everyone. Two significant ways we’re doing this. First of all, we invest alongside interventions such as those preventing homelessness. In addition, we’re also working with large institutional investors to bring in significant amounts of capital that will make more affordable housing available for all. Let me give an example of both of those. So on the first, we’re currently working with a partner to develop a fund that will make more properties available for learning disability charities. On the second, we’re working with a large institutional investor to help regenerate brownfield sites to make more affordable housing available. One thing you learn in this space is that change is hard and takes much longer than you
thought. Encouraging though, when we look back at some of the original investments of Big Society Capital we’re starting to see some real momentum. For example, back in 2013 we invested through Resonance in their Real Lettings Fund. That fund has gone on to raise hundreds of millions from institutional investors and help thousands of people, including children out of homelessness. This is just one of a number of examples we see across our portfolio. In our recent market sizing we saw the social investment market grow from 2.7 billion to 3.5 billion in the last year. There is real momentum across our activities and thanks to the hard work of a lot of our partners, a real difference is being made to lives across the country If any of this interests you please do get in touch. We’ve tried to give you a flavour of some of the things that were working on You can find out lots more on our website Alternatively, you can email us or find us on social media. Thank you for listening.

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