Big Society Capital and Transparency

Big Society Capital launched an ‘open conversation about transparency’ in June 2015. It is “proposing a range of additional measures across three areas – as an investor, a market champion and as a corporate ourselves to increase our transparency. We hope these measures will improve understanding of BSC as well as the wider social investment Read More »

You wait years for a community grants programme to come along….

And then two of them come along together. The £10.5m Community Right to Challenge Grant Programme is designed to help community and voluntary organisations to take over the running of public services in their communities.  The Social Investment Business ( manages the programme and the grant funds.  Locality ( and ACEVO provide advice and support.  Read More »

When we want a supermarket in our local area, what can we do?

Big Local reps work with local areas across England and the range of issues raised with them by local people is truly amazing.  This week, Linda Clark in Gateshead (Teams, Derwentwater and Racecourse) was asked how a supermarket could be attracted into the area. Tim Morton suggested having a look at the North Glasgow Community Read More »

Sensible Social Investment Advice from CAF Venturesome

There is so much hype about social investment these days that I sometimes expect those of us who work in the field to be able to walk on water.   The social investment market is set to explode; social investment is set to become a new asset class; social investment gets to places that even Marmite Read More »

Credit Unions Going For Growth?

I attended the Northern Money Conference, organised by the Co-operative Bank, ABCUL and Dr Paul Jones from Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool on 5th June.  I especially enjoyed presentations from Cyrenians and Unlock on Reaching Out to the Financially Excluded.  It was interesting to hear a briefing from DWP on their plans for supporting Read More »

Social Investment Strikes a Chord in East Coseley

The Big Local Roadshow rolled into East Coseley in the West Midlands on Thursday 17th May.  There was a great turn-out from local residents from Big Local areas across the West Midlands.  After an excellent introduction to East Coseley from Mrs Beatrice Boyling, we broke up into workshops including a large one on social investment. Read More »

When Snuggling up to Councils Causes Problems

I had a brilliant visit to Newcastle and Gateshead on Wed 18th April 2012, thanks to Entrust, Sandown Allotments Association, Redheugh Boys Club and Cyrenians, Teamworks Social Enterprises and Teams Community Centre.  There were some really excellent examples of social enterprise and entrepreneurs, community service, partnerships and innovation.  However, the visit started me thinking about Read More »

Social Impact Bonds

Social Impact Bonds have been developed by Social Finance, a new organisation that managed to capture not just the sector’s name, but also its Wikipedia listing – smart work, guys.   Its Chief Executive was previously Head of UK Investment Banking at Dresdner Kleinwort; other Directors have worked at Credit Suisse, ABN AMBRO Rothschild, Morgan Stanley, Read More »

Social Finance and the Masters of the Universe

When I started work in social finance in the UK, in 1999, I was lucky to join at the beginning of the wave.  New organisations were being set up and new approaches to tackling financial exclusion and supporting enterprise in deprived communities were being trialled.  It was noticeable that many of the risk-taking organisations were Read More »