Last week saw the relaunch of Key Fund – a social investment intermediary originally based in Yorkshire – offering loans and grant/loan packages to help community and social enterprises start-up, grow and/or become more sustainable.
On 11 October, the Social Investment and Finance team in the Office for Civil Society changed its name and ambition. Now it will be the Government Inclusive Economy Unit with a remit to innovate and contribute to the broader agenda of an economy that works for all.
Being poor is not just about being unable to afford those ‘nice to have’ things - it’s being forced to pay more for the absolute essentials, such as gas, electricity, banking, household goods and even groceries simply because you are living in poverty. It’s called the ‘poverty premium’ and it is effectively a tax on the poor.
The phrase ‘knowledge is power’ is more relevant now than ever in our high tech, fast-moving and often digitally overloaded world, so it’s interesting the saying is widely attributed to Sir Francis Bacon and dates back to around 1597.
In 2015, Big Society Capital and the Association of Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL), asked Social Finance to review the credit union landscape in order to understand the potential for social investment to help grow the sector and make it more sustainable.
If you live in poverty in this country, you’re more unlikely to have a bank account. And if you don’t have a bank account, you can’t get a direct debit discount for many of your everyday services and utilities. Is that fair? We don’t think so.
The Commissioning Better Outcomes Fund evaluation is following 10 SIBs part-funded by the fund over their lifetime. One of them is the Worcestershire Reconnections SIB and the first report about the SIB was launched last week.