The intersection between the arts space and social investment is not fully realised. Yet many of the social investors Investing for Good works now realise that if they support social ventures, it is not a great leap to support artistic ones that also confer social value? A triple bottom line of social, financial and artistic return? That’s compelling. In the UK context could an influx of funding of this nature help to replace a hole in the arts budget for the arts, needed after the drastic cuts of recent years?
Interest in impact investing has never been greater. Institutional investors have been developing their approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues over many years. Now they are beginning to realise that negative screening is not the only or indeed the best approach to satisfying the demands of clients to be more proactive as responsible investors. Options include positive screening, engagement and impact investing – and the latter is the most pro-active approach.
A social bond is a bond instrument where the proceeds are exclusively applied to finance a project that delivers social outcomes. Project examples include access to essential services (e.g. health, education and financial services), affordable housing and microfinance. The target population is typically comprised of people who are living below the poverty line, underserved or in some other way excluded and/or marginalised.
Blended finance is the complementary use of grants (or grant-equivalent tools) and other types of financing from private and/or public sources to provide financing to make projects financially viable and/or financially sustainable.
Blended finance funds leverage development finance and grant funding to catalyse new investment at scale, into high impact, market-based solutions.
We at Investing for Good were delighted that the Big Lottery Fund has renewed its funding for social entrepreneurs, supported by School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), with a £2.55m grant.
SSE is a charity with a network of 11 schools, impacting communities across the UK, Canada and India. The charity offer programmes, workshops and short courses, aiming to support individuals on a learning journey, and creating social change together.