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23 August 2021

Social investment partners publish new research report with five key commitments to support minoritised ethnic communities

Three social investment partners have today published a new research report containing five key commitments to support minoritised ethnic communities.

The partners – Access – The Foundation for Social Investment (Access), Social Investment Business (SIB) and Power to Change – want to improve their understanding of how well they currently serve the needs of minoritised ethnic communities, specifically relating to the provision of enterprise development support for social and community enterprises and access to social investment.


The report – Minoritised Ethnic Community and Social Enterprises – is written by authors Dr Leandro Sepulveda and Synnøve Rabbevåg at the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) at Middlesex University. Sado Jirde – CEO of the Black South West Network and Yvonne Field – Executive Director at the Ubele Initiative – acted as advisors to the project.

The literature confirmed some important barriers across the enterprise support and social investment sector and provided the following key commitments for each of the partners:

  • Changing incentives in long-standing programmes to reward partners who can consistently demonstrate better reach to minoritised ethnic communities, and engaging new partners who we have not worked with before;
  • Developing new programmes which specifically support minoritised ethnic communities in collaboration with appropriate partners and networks; and changing existing ones too
  • Changing investment policies to place diversity, equity and inclusion on an equal footing with financial performance and social impact;
  • Using their improved data to understand the points in the process where specific barriers exist for minoritised ethnic communities and removing those barriers;
  • Continuing to address power dynamics: reviewing their own governance and decision-making processes and structures, and those of their delivery partners.

Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment – said:

“We are grateful to Middlesex University and our expert advisors for this clear account of our collective performance to date. It will form the baseline against which our future performance on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will be assessed. Access is committed to making social enterprise support and social investment truly inclusive and fair. We will deliver this through consultation and engagement with minoritised ethnic and excluded communities, and co-production in active partnerships with those under-represented communities.”
Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive at Power to Change, said:

“Along with our partners Social Investment Business and Access, we are pleased to launch this report, driving us to explore and mitigate barriers to supporting social and community enterprises which are led by and supporting people from minoritised ethnicities. To move forward towards equity, we are educating our staff team about marginalisation and inequity, we are listening to communities experiencing these unequal impacts and integrating their advice into our processes, and designing activities to support those in most need.”

Nick Temple, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business, said:

“We are pleased to be launching this report with our partners Access and Power to Change. Social Investment Business believes in high quality data driving better decision-making, and this report makes an important contribution to that evidence base. We are committed to making greater progress in our support for minoritised ethnic communities; so we will use this report to both drive forward action with our partners and also to hold each other to account.”

Where to read the report

You can read the report here.

For further information, please contact:

Miranda Love
Marketing and Communications Lead
Social Investment Business

Notes to editors

About Access – The Foundation for Social Investment

Access – The Foundation for Social Investment (Access) exists to help make charities and social enterprises in England more financially resilient and self-reliant so that they can sustain or increase their impact.

Access does this in two ways: through the provision of grant in blended finance models to make social investment more suitable to more charities and social enterprises; and through enterprise development programmes, supporting charities and social enterprises who wish to develop earned income models or investigate social investment.

Access’s capital comes from DCMS, dormant bank accounts and the National Lottery Community Fund.

About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £870m, and comprises 11,300 community businesses across England who employ more than 37,000 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2020)

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.

About Social Investment Business

Social Investment Business provides finance to create fairer communities and improve people’s lives. They do this by providing the money and support they need directly, partnering to support them effectively and, using their knowledge to inform their own work and influence others.

Since 2004, SIB has deployed and managed over £400m of loans and grants into over 2,000 organisations and enabled almost 1,000 more to get dedicated support through programmes.