Big Society Capital publishes annual report

Big Society Capital, the world's first social investment bank, today published its 2013 annual report, outlining performance to date and setting out a new three-year strategy.

As of December 2013, Big Society Capital had received £225.4 million of funding from the Reclaim Fund and four UK high street banks, making total cumulative commitments of £149.1 million, with matching funding of 116% from third party investors alongside Big Society Capital’s own signed investments.

Harvey McGrath, chair of Big Society Capital, said: “Acting as a market champion and using our investments to encourage others to invest alongside us, we’ve continued to develop the social investment market.

"We’ve done this by funding existing and new organisations, continuing to drive interest in and understanding of the market within the social sector and with mainstream investors, and working to improve the policy environment.

"Internationally and in the UK, interest and engagement in social investment stepped up a gear in 2013, most notably with the announcement of the Social Investment Tax Relief, and the launch at G8 of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce.

"We’re pleased to have played a role in this, and look forward to building on this momentum in the future.”

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of Big Society Capital, said: “A strong social investment market has the power to change lives. Our mandate is to grow the social investment market, and this year we have started to see that happen.

"More funds are now available to a diverse range of charities and social enterprises, and organisations are putting that finance to use across a range of social issues, from youth unemployment to elderly social care.

"During our first two years of operations, we prioritised making finance available to small and medium-sized charities, which today comprise the biggest proportion of our £149 million of investment commitments.

"This remains an important focus for us, particularly supporting charities and social enterprises to access the finance now available.

A thriving social investment market requires a combination of mass participation, finance for small and medium-sized charities, support for innovation, and scale in financing social issues.

"We have a role to play as a market champion and investor across all of these areas, and have an ambitious vision of how we will do this.”

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