Grant fund helps charities and social enterprises win £233m in investment and contracts

6 October 2015

Social Investment Business and the Cabinet Office announced today that the £13.2m Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF) helped unlock £233m in investments and contracts for charities and social enterprises. The fund provided grants to 155 ventures to help them grow and increase their impact.

“The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund, funded by the Cabinet Office, has exceeded all expectations and set a benchmark for the rest of the world to follow. The Fund has helped VCSEs to grow and increase their impact through taking on investment and winning public sector contracts; all helping to build a truly compassionate society”.

Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society

One successful venture that received an ICRF grant was Thames Reach; a charity that helps homeless and vulnerable people in London. They received a grant to work with their provider, Banks Cannell, who helped with the development of an initiative to fund the purchase of accommodation for people moving out of institutional settings (hospital and registered care homes) into the community where they can live rich and fulfilling lives, maximising their independence. This is called Brokerage and Resettlement in Lambeth.  The grant has so far helped Thames Reach secure an initial investment of £520,000 with a further £4 million anticipated in the next few weeks.

“Support through the ICRF was invaluable to Thames Reach as it provided a resource to help us move our project, to purchase properties for people moving out of institutions so that they could have a home of their own, from a concept to reality."

Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive, Thames Reach 

This gave both the senior team at Thames Reach and the trustee board increased confidence to pitch the model to interested investors. We have been successful in gaining very significant investment and a strong idea has thus become an operating reality and we are seeing people’s lives improved and transformed as a consequence” 

An evaluation of the fund by Ecorys, commissioned by the Cabinet Office, Social Investment Business and Big Society Capital, examines the main lessons and learnings of the fund and will be launched today at SOCAP 2015 in San Francisco – the largest social entrepreneur and impact conference in the world.

“It was clear to us that this type of funding was necessary back in 2012 when the fund originally launched and we are delighted that it has been such a success. We must now understand the lessons of this fund to help model even more impactful interventions in the future.”

“I think the social finance investment intermediaries should be extremely proud of the work they have done with all these front line organisations. Turning £13m of grants into £233m of contract/investment wins is no mean feat. So often, the role of an intermediary is misunderstood or undervalued, hopefully the experience of ICRF will encourage more organisations to use their services going forwards, as we aim to build a more sustainable market for advice and support”.

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive, Social Investment Business

ICRF funded a range of specialist support from financial modelling and impact measurement to investment structuring and tendering and bid writing.

“Crucially, the ICRF provider challenged and tested the model which strengthened it, making it both more achievable and compelling to potential investors. If you want to do things differently and transform lives in a way that hasn’t been achieved before, you need the probing and scrutiny that social investment intermediaries bring.”

Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive, Thames Reach

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The Social Investment Business is the trading name for the Social Investment Business Foundation, Registered Company No. 05777484 (England), Registered Charity No. 1117185 (England & Wales), The Social Investment Business Limited, Registered in England No. 06490609, VAT No. 927456693, Futurebuilders-England Limited, Registered in England No. 05066676 and Forward Enterprise FM Ltd, Registered in England No.11238102. Registered Office: CAN Mezzanine, Borough, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.

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