A new, independent charitable foundation has been established to fill gaps in the social investment market, which have prevented some voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises (VCSEs) from accessing vital finance.
Announced today by its new Board of Trustees, the organisation is named Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and will launch in early 2015.
While the UK’s social investment market is growing and is considered the most advanced in the world, accessing finance through it can be difficult for many smaller VCSEs. There is growing recognition that catalytic grant finance, often alongside repayable finance, can enable a wider range of organisations to access the investment they need. Sometimes the organisations seeking funding also have gaps in the skills needed to attract and take on investment.
Access will be chaired by John Kingston, OBE who will lead a board comprised of Arvinda Gohil – Chief Executive of Emmaus UK; Alastair Wilson – Chief Executive of the School for Social Entrepreneurs; David Curtis – Chief Operating Officer of Wakelet; Annika Small – Chief Executive of Nominet Trust; James Perry – Chief Executive of Panahpur Foundation; Victoria Hornby – Director of Grants and Evaluation for the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; Steve Wyler – former CEO of Locality.
Access has been created by Big Society Trust, working in collaboration with Cabinet Office, Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital, following extensive consultation with the sector. In its activities, Access will act as an independent champion for the earlier stage organisations within the sector, in partnership with many other charitable foundations and trusts.
Access Foundation will begin much of its work in “listening mode”. Chair John Kingston explains: “We are seeking to hear views of critical support needs from a wide range of organisations in the social sector – especially those who have not yet taken on repayable finance but are considering whether to do so in order to achieve more social impact in their work.”
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said: “The UK is home to the most advanced social investment market in the world, connecting charities and social enterprises who need finance with investors who are willing to provide it. This Government is determined to help build a market that is accessible to everyone and Access is an excellent long-term addition to the mix which will allow us to work alongside expert partners to respond to a growing need.”
Further information will be available at launch in early 2015.
Download the press release.