News from Access – May 2023 – including cost of living and energy updates

Updates from the Access team on all things social investment, blended finance and enterprise development.

This month at Access

Cost of Living fund now open to social investors – We’ve launched the window for social investors to express interest in our new Cost of Living fund. This follows an announcement earlier this year that Access has been allocated £11 million from Dormant Assets. The fund will enable social investors to offer a broader range of products to support charities and social enterprises in underserved parts of the country and better meet the needs of their communities in relation to challenges caused by the cost of living crisis.

Help shape our work on energy – we are looking for a broad range of views from across the social investment market, other funders, infrastructure and the wider sector to help inform our work on energy and specifically our investment approach. This also relates to the Dormant Assets announcements made earlier this year, resulting in a £12 million allocation for Access and £8 million to Big Society Capital and will build on work already in train in this space.

Thinking big – addressing one of the perennial questions we ponder while hanging around the proverbial watercooler** the Catalytic Capital report, authored by the Change Coefficient, looks at the scale and impact of money in the UK that helps to unlock other funds (aka catalytic capital) and what we can do to unlock much bigger sums of money that would get us closer to the scale of impact that we need. At a whopping 111 pages, the report covers a lot of ground, but a good place to start is the launch blog and article in Pioneer’s Post.


Social Investment Stories

“The investment unlocked more long-term decision-making, allowing us to take more innovative approaches and breathe more deeply before considering our next step.”

Hear more from Jane Grindey – Director and co-founder of Wolverton Community Energy who received funding from Big Issue Invest under the Growth Fund.

Don’t miss this

  • Join Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development, for a webinar on May 25 to discuss whether generating income can support locally-led development.
  • Join foundations and other providers of catalytic capital, online and in person, to discuss the findings from the Catalytic Capital report (funded by Access and Big Society Capital) on June 6.

What we’re reading and listening to

  • This Pioneer’s Post piece on how to build an inclusive impact fund – with insight from UnLtd’s Growth Impact Fund and the Impact Hub Bradford as part of their role in Local Access Bradford.
  • Insights from foundations and others on their different approaches to responsible investment. Undertaken as part of our own scoping work, you can read the blog from Charlotte Ravenscroft at Lucent here.
  • Listen to economic historian Anne Murphy, financial journalist Edward Chancellor, and founder of Burnley Savings and Loan (and inspiration for Netflix film Bank of Dave) David Fishwick discussing virtuous bankers on Radio 4’s start the week.

Did you know?