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Welcome to SCRT's March 2017 bulletin focusing on social finance; social investment and social banking.  SCRT aims to harness the collective financial reserves of the third sector community and use it to provide social investment that is relevant, appropriate and in tune with the needs of the community. JOIN US...if you want regular updates on social investment then why not join our 150+ members and take out SCRT free membership or associate membership. 

This week was the annual conference of Responsible Finance - the networking body for Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) across the UK. CDFIs work in areas and with people, enterprises and groups that are under served by the mainstream financial sector. They are essential to ensuring that all businesses and individuals can access finance to meet their family or business needs. CDFIs were develop in the UK after seeing the positive impact they made in disadvantaged neighbourhoods across America. Unfortunately this week also brought news that Trump is cutting the CDFI fund budget by $210million in order to increase funding for defence; homeland security and veteran's affairs. 

Social Investment - Still missing the target- Part 1
At the recent NatWest SE100 Leadership event in Edinburgh, the talk was about social investment. The CEO of Social Enterprise Scotland claimed that "The price is wrong and the management arrangements are wrong...It's too damn expensive to get money. The management arrangements are often not structured properly for individual organisations."..According to CDFI Lets Do Business.."although there was plenty of money around, it was the wrong type of finance...perhaps too much funding is available to make businesses investment-ready and not enough for businesses who were already being financed to take further loans to scale up on the right terms"....Read More

Growth & Replication Challenge
Social Investment Scotland is seeking established organisations with well developed growth plans or replication plans and who are looking for investment between £100k and £1m to bring their plans to life.
Successful organisations will get bespoke business support up to a value of £10k along with access to tailored and flexible financial support and investment. 
If this is a Challenge that you think is right for you then get your skates on as Expressions of Interest have to be submitted before midnight on Monday 3rd April 2017...Read More

France - where 1 million people are social investors.
One of SCRT's aims is to encourage third sector employees; trustees and volunteers to become social investors in the sector. This would have the potential to magnify the positive impact the sector has on poverty and inequality across Scotland.  In this aspiration we look to France where 1 million people from right across society are social investors in the 'social and solidarity economy' - the French equivalent of the third sector.  
Perhaps one of the most important changes that has facilitated this move, aside from tax exemptions for those investing, was the introduction of regulation ensuring that all companies with more than 50 employees offer them “solidarity finance scheme” options...Read More 

Social Investment - Still missing the target - Part 2 
Over 50 UK charity leaders recently attended an event focused on new charity finance models which resulted in some very interesting observations including:
'There is no shortage of money..particularly for assets and other secured propositions'..'Little risk money or small sums available'..'The more money involved the less important the impact element is'..'Financial returns still reign supreme for investors'..'Third Sector needs a mindset and culture shift towards social investment'..'Social investment can be transformational particular where it truly engages social investors in action'. Sounds like there is still much work to be done to make social investment relevant and appropriate to all third sector organisations...Read More

Social Investment - Social Impact
Measuring social impact is an increasingly important aspect of social investment. In addition to the Scottish 10 year Social Enterprise Strategy mentioning community reinvestment models, it also includes an intention to develop a 'flexible and holistic' Scottish model of impact measurement. In the meantime this article outlines very simply how and what organisations can measure in order to evidence the positive impact that they are making. 
Taking the four key objectives of Community Value; Social Benefit; Environmental Benefit and Financial Sustainability, it outlines very modest examples of the type of outcomes that organisations can use to demonstrate impact on the ground.
Unity Trust is a provider of social investment, so the examples also act as an indicator of the type of impact that organisations should be collating prior to seeking social investment...Read More

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