Undertaken and written by the TI Group, Access’s learning partners, the report reflects the views of all the key actors involved in the programmes: almost 100 of the grantees, the social investor Access Points and perspectives from advisory providers and SIB, the programme manager.
The findings paint an encouraging picture. The Reach Fund is supporting a broader range of charities and social enterprises to be able to access social investment, in particular smaller organisations. Grants seem to be providing good value for money and are addressing the key barriers to raising investment. A broader market of support providers are being supported around the country. Crucially charities and social enterprises report having control of their investment readiness plans.
At the time of the research, 70 of the 224 organisations who had received a grant had raised investment with a 6 to 1 leverage ratio. That equates to £3m of grants having unlocked over £17.2m of investment for the sector.
The Reach Fund is helping organisations who would not otherwise have been able to access investment to engage with social investors. The median turnover of grantees is £87.5k, much smaller than those who usually access investment or who have been supported by previous investment readiness programmes. One of the Access Points reported that they have “Worked with organisations and launched investments that would have been a big struggle without Reach Fund support”.
Access Foundation’s CEO, Seb Elsworth, said: “The Reach Fund is doing what it says on the tin, effectively expanding the reach of social investment into communities around England. We are encouraged by the findings of this learning report and are delighted to be continuing to work with the team at Social Investment Business to further enhance and refine the Reach Fund over its second phase.”
The full report is available here.