Seeing as every bit of research there has been puts forward funding as the major barrier for social entrepreneurs achieving what they might, new funding streams are always welcome. So the news that £400 million of unclaimed assets in UK bank accounts are possibly to be used to form a "social investment bank” to help finance
charitable and voluntary projects by "providing seed capital and loan
guarantees". At least that will be the recommendation today of The Commission on Unclaimed Assets…
[read the FT and Guardian take]
It’s not been fully clarified exactly what the fund’s main objectives are, though Ronald Cohen has chaired the commission (of Bridges Community Ventures, who we’ve mentioned a couple of times recently), and reports say it has been based on the US-based Local Initiative Support Corporation, which provides financial advice and funds to community groups and charities, and has invested over $6 billion in the last 25 years.
Incidentally, the £400 million figure is only for accounts that have been dormant for 15 years. The actual amount in unclaimed assets could be in the billions….
UPDATE: piece in Society Guardian by Matthew Pike on this….which talks excitingly of what the UK Social Investment Bank might do:
"Using unclaimed assets funds, the proposed SIB would capitalise and
co-ordinate the efforts of new and existing providers of funding,
finance and support to the sector – covering the full range of needs,
from grants to loans, lease financing, quasi-equity and equity. But it
would also act in the manner of a private investment bank, able to
package and guarantee investment opportunities for private capital as