In the wake of so much negative press around tax dodges, how delightful to see this week’s announcement from South Bristol Sports Centre on the launch of their £1million sports scheme, £250k of which was raised using Social Investment Tax Relief.
For children from disadvantaged backgrounds, a good education can be the key to opening up new opportunities. Higher education, in particular, has been shown to have a significant effect on a young person's career prospects and lifetime earnings, and as a result, their social mobility. Yet it’s also widely true that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are much more likely to underperform academically versus their more affluent peers.
We know that all too often there is a mismatch between the hype of social investment and the gritty reality. Part of this is a mismatch of expectations – between the social investor with the money, and the social enterprise looking to raise finance. And in my experience, this mismatch is particularly striking around the issue of governance.
Building mass participation within social investment can significantly impact communities and individuals. At Big Society Capital, we ultimately want to see millions of people contributing to social change through their own personal finance choices, and thousands of grassroots organisations being able to access the finance they need to support their local communities.
Who should be a social investor? Should social investment be the preserve of big financial institutions, charitable foundations, large companies and high-net-worth individuals? Or should this be accessible to regular people who identify with a social issue or a community and want to do everything they can to help?
Last week the Big Lottery Fund announced that up to £293,250 in grant funding has been offered in-principle to North Somerset Council for a four-year social impact bond (SIB) to support 240 local young people aged 10 to 17 who are at risk of going into care.
We are key sponsors of the Worthstone Social Investment Academy, a leading forum for independent financial advisers who are incorporating social impact investment advice within the financial planning process.