Big Society Capital pledges £100m to new projects

Nick O'Donohoe, chief executive of the social lender, announces plans to make about 20 investments this year and open at least three new social investment funds

Big Society Capital
Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital, the £600m social lender, has announced plans to invest up to £100m in new projects in 2013.

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of the organisation, said in a statement yesterday that he hoped to makes about 20 new investments in the year.

Big Society Capital makes wholesale investments in social lenders that provide finance to third sector organisations.

O’Donohoe said that at least three more social investment funds were likely to open in the coming weeks, some of which would involve investment from large City firms, and he expected the number of funds that charities and social enterprises could approach for funding to rise from "two or three" to "eight or 10" over the period.

He said the government’s decision to increase the number of payment-by-results contracts, including an announcement that charities would be able to bid to provide probation services, would require the sector to have the support of social lenders and would be a test of the capacity of the social finance sector.

"In 2013 we believe that, as a result of our establishment, front-line social organisations will begin to notice a real difference in their ability to access capital," he said.

"There will be more dedicated pools of capital. There will be more social investment professionals who can originate and structure transactions. There will be greater standardisation and consistency in social impact bond programmes and more money available to fund charities wishing to participate in these outcome-based programmes."

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