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Social Investment Business to launch £10m pilot funds

If they are successful, says Jonathan Jenkins of the SIB, he will attempt to raise up to £50m more

Jonathan Jenkins
Jonathan Jenkins

The Social Investment Business will this year launch funds totalling up to £10m to lend to the third sector.

Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of the social lender, told Third Sector that if the new funds were successful, he would attempt to raise "serious money".

"If this works, we could look at raising a fund of £25m or £50m," he said. "Before we can raise that sort of money, though, we’ll need a track record, which is why we’ll have these pilots."

The SIB had not yet decided the criteria for applying for either the £10m funds or the suggested follow up, he said.

Jenkins said the organisation, which manages several government funds including the Communitybuilders endowment and the Social Action Fund, might try to win more business from the government, but also wanted to raise money elsewhere.

The business was considering about 15 different ideas for new funds and would select one or two, he said.

"We’re looking at different ways of raising money and different ways of investing it," he said. "For example, a lot of charities have become interested in social investment since the publication of the Charity Commission’s new CC14 investment guidance. Can we raise a fund from them to invest money on their behalf?"

He said other ideas for raising money included selling securities based on the loan book from the Futurebuilders fund, which the business runs on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

He said a fund could lend to government organisations wanting to spin out social enterprises, provide capital to charities wanting to win payment-by-results contracts or act as an 'angel investor' in social enterprises with a business they wanted to grow.

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