Lord Adebowale, chair of Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), has launched a commission to find out how the sector could gain better access to the social investment market.
Fusion 21, a national social enterprise that helps improve procurement process, is supporting the Adebowale Commission, which will examine the current state of the social investment market and the wider products and services available in mainstream finance.
It will also make practical recommendations for government, social investors and social enterprises on what needs to happen to unlock the future potential of social enterprises.
It will soon invite written evidence from stakeholders. It also plans to hold witness sessions in the House of Lords and undertake interviews and desk research to better understand social enterprise's place within the wider economy and other investment markets.
The commission aims to publish a report with recommendations in the autumn.
Who is involved with the commission?
So far four other commissioners have been announced
- Dr. Jessica Daggers – researcher on impact investing and social investment
- Jamie Broderick – former CEO of UBS Wealth Management and board member of the Impact Investing Institute
- Dr. Susan Aktemel – executive director, Homes for Good (Scotland) CIC, and business fellow of the University of Strathclyde
- Chris Murray, director of Core Cities Group and chair of Fusion21
SEUK said more commissioners would be announced in due course.
'Focus on the future'
Adebowale said the commission had an open mind about what might result from it: “Social enterprises are the future of business and social investment is a critical part of achieving the sector’s potential.
“The aim of this commission is not to look back on what has gone right or wrong in the past, but to focus on the future and how we unlock the full power of the financial markets to support social enterprises.
“We are launching this commission with no preconceptions or proposals, but with an open mind and bold aspirations.
“I hope that government, social investors and social enterprises will engage with this commission and I look forward to seeing what we find out.”
Chris Murray, chair of Fusion21 and the Fusion21 Foundation, added: “The UK’s social enterprise sector is a powerful tool for public and economic good. Yet although it is growing and diversifying, the sector as a whole shows signs of very significant untapped potential to do far more.
“Access to finance and the ability to use it through investable propositions is one way of unlocking the resource that social enterprise represents. This could not only benefit communities and individuals throughout the UK, but also diversify our national economic model in a way that will make us more economically, socially and environmentally resilient, at a moment of real change.
“As a social enterprise ourselves, we’re proud to support this commission which goes to the heart of these issues.”