This month we are pleased to share the first of our ‘dashboard’ reports, which we will be publishing quarterly going forward. These dashboards are designed to provide a summary of activity across our funds and programmes, including some summary analysis, key figures and financials.
This first dashboard summarises the period up to and including the quarter October to December 2016. This was the first quarter when our funds reached the front line and therefore the data here represent a baseline of activity which will grow significantly over the next quarters. (For example we are already aware of significant lending activity having taken place since January).
As of the end of December, four social investment funds are open and actively lending. The data on front-line deals is the agglomeration of the deals done by those four.
A further four social investment funds had received offers by the end of December and we are in the process of negotiating legal agreements with them. We expect them to launch in the first part of 2017.
An additional four applications to the Growth Fund are in the due diligence phase and will be presented to the Joint Investment Committee for a final decision in the coming months.
The Growth Fund is now just over 50% committed to social investors and adding on the applicants which are well advanced through our process we consider that we have sight of around 80% of the total Growth Fund portfolio.
At the front line, the first loans were made by Key Fund through their Northern Impact Fund at the start of the quarter.
The Invest for Impact Fund, run by First Ark fund launched during October and the Impact Loans England fund, run by BII was signed at the very end of the quarter.
The social investors have engaged with over 250 enquiries and have received 35 applications.
A total of 10 loans have been made to charities and social enterprises during the quarter and two of those have been drawn.
We expect this activity to significantly increase in the first quarter of 2017.
On the Reach Fund, 10 Access Points were provided with grant allocations of £805k at the end of October when the fund opened for applications. The first grant panel met on 30th November 2016 and awarded the first grants.
By the end of the quarter 61 charities and social enterprises had expressed interest, 13 had applied via their Access Point and 7 grants had been awarded totalling just under £100k.
Finally, we are very pleased to see the proportion of our endowment invested in our “bullseye” increasing to 27%. You can read more about our endowment investment strategy here.
Given that we estimate that we have sight of around 80% of the Growth Fund portfolio, the Joint Investment Committee (JIC) discussed priorities for remaining new applications for the first part of 2017 in November 2016. We continue to welcome applications which target all of our three portfolio themes of Efficiency, New Approaches and Reach, but with a particular focus on the latter two. The JIC is also particularly interested in seeing applications which offer:
- Innovation in products for charities and social enterprises, especially exploring whether it is possible to offer risk finance products within the Growth Fund;
- Applications which seek to offer new approaches to decision making for lending activity (possibly including automation), and which seek to simplify legal processes for charities and social enterprises; and which
- Bring expertise and proven ideas which have worked in other sectors or overseas.
The Reach Fund is also entering its next phase of activity and applications are open for social investors to apply to be in the next cohort of Access Points until 22 March.
These dashboards will constantly evolve as our funds and programmes progress and we look forward to sharing more on these funds in subsequent reports, as well as including data on our other Capacity Building programmes (Impact Management Programme and Social Infrastructure Investments Fund) as these programmes develop.
A few words on process
This report, like subsequent reports will be, is published approximately six to eight weeks following the quarter’s end. This is for two reasons. Firstly, we want to give our partners, fund managers and programme administrators adequate time to provide us with data on their activity. Absorbing complexity as far as possible and trying not to over-burden social investors and others with excessive reporting requirements and short deadlines is integral to the design of all of our programmes. Secondly, we want to ensure that we take the time to fully understand and analyse all of the data that we have so that we can hopefully provide the most useful summary figures and snapshots of our programmes and funds. We hope that by taking this approach we will be able to maximise both our own learning and that of any interested parties.
At Access, learning and openness are at the heart of everything that we do. We are committed both to maximising our own learning from all of our activity and to sharing this as much as possible. Our hope is that this will be of benefit to social investors, other providers of loans and grants and others in the social investment market and therefore, ultimately, to the charities and social enterprises which we exist to support.
We hope you find the report interesting. It can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page. If you would like to find out more about our learning, we have recently added a Learning and Research page to our website. Here you can view our Learning Strategy, other reports and find details of a number of published and ongoing pieces of research which we have supported.
Our next quarterly dashboard, for the period up to and including January to March 2017, will be published during May. If you would like to keep up to date with our programmes and funds in the meantime you can view our other blogs, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter.