RRLF was run by Social Investment Business (SIB) with an initial £25m investment and support from Big Society Capital. In August 2020, £4m in grants from Access – The Foundation for Social Investment – was made available alongside loans for organisations in England. SIB was the lender and worked with experienced social investor partners on the design and delivery of the fund: Big Issue Invest, CAF Venturesome, Charity Bank, Resonance, Social Investment Scotland, Social and Sustainable Capital and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Legal firm Weil provided pro-bono support. RRLF finished with £28m in total funding approved to 77 social enterprises and charities.
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose. There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60bn to the UK economy, each one being set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face from homelessness to the climate emergency.
The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises. Social Investment Business will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on 8 December.
This year the Awards featured two new categories one recognising a Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice and the other for the Social Enterprise Team of the Year – a category specifically acknowledging those teams which have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience so characteristic of the social enterprise sector over an extremely challenging year.
Previous winners have included a company set up to tackle furniture poverty, an IT consultancy employing people with autism and a community energy co-operative – demonstrating just how diverse the social enterprise sector is.
Commenting on being shortlisted, Chief Executive of SIB Nick Temple said:
“We are delighted that we have been shortlisted for the UK Social Enterprise Awards in the Social Investment Deal of the Year category for the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund.
We simply would not have been able to set up and run the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund without the support from our investors Big Society Capital and Access, the efforts of the British Business Bank, the expertise of our delivery and referral partners, and the committed efforts of the whole SIB team and Board.
What powered our work on the Fund was the knowledge that social enterprises play such a crucial role providing important services across the country. We need them not only to survive the pandemic and to maintain their provision, but to grow their impact and to lead us in the delivery of a fairer and more equitable recovery. If we have played a small part in helping make that happen, we are extremely proud of that achievement.”
Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said:
“The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before. We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period.
Over the course of the pandemic social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector. They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole.
The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.”
For more information please contact:
Marketing and Communications Lead
Social Investment Business
About Social Investment Business
SIB provides finance to create fairer communities: they invest, they provide grants and support, and they influence. SIB has one of the largest and most mature social investment portfolios in the UK. In 2020-2021, SIB approved £60m worth of grants and loans to social enterprises and charities.
About social enterprises
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social purpose that reinvest or donate over half their profits to further this social or environmental mission. They are an increasingly important part of the UK economy contributing £60 billion and employing 2 million people. Estimates are there are 100,000 in the UK. Research carried out by Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for the sector, shows they are outperforming traditional businesses when it comes to start-up rates, turnover growth and innovation. They are also ahead of the pack when it comes to workforce diversity and pay. For more information and statistics see Social Enterprise UK’s State of Social enterprise Report 2019 and the ‘Hidden Revolution’ report which showed the true scale and impact of the sector.
About Social Enterprise UK
Social Enterprise UK is the largest network of certified social enterprises in the UK and the leading global authority on social enterprises. Together with our members we are the voice for the sector. We have led public policy for 15 years, helping pass the Social Value Act, and are a strategic partner to government. We exist to increase the profile of the sector through our campaigns and research, and build the markets for our members – working with some of the UK’s biggest companies to support them to bring social enterprises into their supply chains. Our members reflect the diversity of the sector ranging from local grass-roots organisations to multi-million-pound businesses. We see social enterprise as the future of business.
Image credit: Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (an RRLF investee)