Finance: Voluntary sector 'starts to lose fear of borrowing'

More than 70 per cent of the organisations funded by Futurebuilders have not borrowed money before, according to the organisation's first Learning Report, which is to be published tomorrow.

The report also revealed that nearly a quarter of the investees are black and minority ethnic groups.

Futurebuilders was set up two years ago to finance new voluntary sector services that add value to public services. Investment packages are mainly loan-based, but include grants as well.

Richard Gutch, chief executive at Futurebuilders, said the findings demonstrated that the sector is losing its fear of borrowing. "We always knew it had reservations about loan finance," he added. "But it's clear from our investees that, given the right support and investment package, it is relevant to them."

Gutch also said that Futurebuilders had not directed investment to the "usual suspects" of large national charities. Most recipients were local or regional organisations.

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