So it’s been more than a month since my last post: with a Yule-induced hiatus in the middle, we’ve been busily developing our capacity building programme, building on the headlines we published in December. Given the obvious requirement to shoe-horn a Bowie reference into this post, I’ll describe this stage as putting on our red shoes before we hit the dancefloor.
We’ve haven’t blogged much about our research work, and we’re really pleased to have so far commissioned three pieces of work which we think will add real value and insight for us and others in the social investment world. Firstly, along with the Barrow Cadbury Trust, we have funded IVAR to revisit the work they undertook in 2013 on Charities’ experience of social investment. You can find all the details here: we’re looking forward to IVAR sharing some initial findings in the next few weeks, with a full report scheduled for the spring. Secondly, NPC are doing some work for us to build out our understanding of the potential range of organisations who might be a good fit to apply to run a loan fund through the Growth Fund. This is an important part of our efforts to fulfill the challenge (from both our Board and our key partners), to bring new entrants into the social investment market, both as fund managers and investees. We’ll be sharing their conclusions as they come through in the next month or two, as we’re confident they will be of use beyond our own specific requirements.
We’ve also asked SEUK to take a closer look at the data they’ve accumulated over the years through their ‘State of the Sector‘ surveys. Primarily we’re interested in any indications of changing attitudes towards, and experiences of, social investment amongst social enterprises over the past few years: Nick Temple has shared some initial findings in this blog from December. As something of a research geek, I’m also interested in what they’ve been learning about the data-gathering process itself: managing a regular survey, the tension between introducing new questions and maintaining consistency and comparability, etc. They’re working towards a report at the end of January, which again we (and they) will be sharing.
So much to look forward to as we warm into 2016: for now, please seek out this some serious moonlight weekend, and take the opportunity to sway….