Many ex-offenders are reconvicted within one year of release. There is plenty of research to say that many prisoners think having a job is a vital part of keeping them out of prison. The problem is finding employment on release can be difficult, particularly for those who were unemployed before they were convicted.
Big Society Capital wants to create a £5 million facility for alternative finance platforms to match crowdfunded investments by individuals to charities and social enterprises. We are seeking platforms to partner with us to deliver this fund which will launch in 2016.
In a recent speech on creating a ‘smarter state’, the Prime Minister said that government will increasingly be ‘bringing in new providers or allowing new ways of doing things’. Following this, the Institute for Government convened an event to explore what we can learn from new approaches to commissioning, setting up and managing public service markets and how to enable integration and collaboration between service providers and government.
Last month, we announced a Kick-Off Workshop to initiate discussions about our proposed Crowd Match Fund. The half-day workshop took place on Monday 23rd November comprising of five sessions lead by speakers from Big Society Capital, Nesta and Freedom Bakery.
If there is such thing as a typical grant making trust, the Andrews Charitable Trust (ACT) isn’t one of them. I recently attended ACT’s 50th anniversary celebration, hosted by one of their grantees 2nd Chance in Southwark which is supporting young people into sustained employment. It was a fantastic experience, not least because of the young people who catered and supported the event. It was also a great reminder of the old and new in the voluntary and social enterprise sector, and several themes during the event struck me as relevant for our work in social investment.
Today we announced the winner of the Business Impact Challenge – an innovative new partnership between Interserve, Catch 22 and ClubFinance that has the potential to increase charities and social enterprises’ ability to compete for and deliver public services contracts at scale.
HM Treasury recently announced that from 30th November this year, it will remove tax reliefs of 30% or more for community energy projects. This means they will no longer be eligible for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) as well as Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
It’s an important day for social impact bonds (SIBs) as London-based youth charity, Think Forward, has successfully delivered one of the first social impact bonds in the UK to tackle youth unemployment and provide a return to investors.
Southmead is an out of town estate, a few miles from the centre of Bristol. It’s a great place with a real buzz and lots of positives, but it also has its challenges. Southmead has the lowest life expectancy in Bristol, more than 9 years lower than the neighbouring ward of Henleaze, and we’re involved in many projects to try and address that. We want to improve people’s wellbeing and hopefully have an impact on their life expectancy.
The Department for Work and Pensions’ Innovation Fund was launched in 2012 to support payment-by-results programmes that enable disadvantaged young people to participate and succeed in education and training. Big Society Capital has invested in five of these Social Impact Bonds, including Think Forward and New Horizons. This summer, the first cohorts of young people on these two programmes sat their GCSE exams, and far exceed all predictions.
One thing that has grown quite rapidly in UK social investment over recent years is the range of available products. Whether social property funds, social impact bonds, community shares or soon a wider range of ‘smaller ticket’ products encouraged by the Access Foundation’s Growth Fund, there have never been so many social investment products available across the capital spectrum.