We’ve been working hard with Legal & General over the last few months to put into motion our innovative idea for a new kind of social investment scheme. It has the potential to benefit thousands of people across the UK by bringing together large businesses and local communities and leveraging millions of pounds of social investment into the social enterprise sector. This recyclable funding will then feed into tackling social issues within communities across the country, boosting the economy and ultimately benefiting thousands of people.
This week we finally got the news that will make all of this possible: we secured a £65,000 funding pot from NESTA as a part of their Innovation in Giving Fund. The scheme will now be developed this summer and the pilot launched in autumn in Brighton & Hove. If successful there, we are aiming to roll it out across the UK.
So how does it work? Well, social enterprises will be invited to apply to the scheme. They will then be linked to a local big business and their employees, receiving employee monitoring, expert advice and a £10,000 interest free loan.
The three main goals of this programme are:
· To give social entrepreneurs access to a new form of non-banking finance.
· To give social enterprises the support to grow towards a sustainable future, this will be in the form of expert advice and mentoring.
· To get companies and employees involved with their local communities.
We really think the scheme could breathe fresh life into thousands of social enterprises and finally start to fill the support gap that social enterprises currently struggle with.
We have worked with Legal and General for quite a while developing this model. It is great to see that a corporate of the size of Legal & General are just as excited to be on board. Their 2,000 employees are sure to make a massive difference in the Brighton & Hove area.