Adebowale Commission on Social Investment

Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Chair of Social Enterprise UK, has announced the creation of a new Commission on Social Investment which will look at the future of this £3.5bn market and how it and the wider investment market can serve the growth of the UK’s 100,000 social enterprises and help build a new economy.

The Commission is being supported by Fusion21 – a national social enterprise, which supports its public sector members to procure smarter and deliver on their social impact and sustainability goals.

The independent Commission will operate over the spring and summer with a report due to be launched in the Autumn.

The Commission will be made up of independent commissioners from a range of organisations and backgrounds who will examine the current state of the social investment market, the wider products and services available in mainstream finance and make practical recommendations for government, social investors and social enterprises on what needs to happen to unlock the future potential of social enterprises.  

Alongside Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, confirmed Commissioners include:

  • Dr. Jessica Daggers – researcher on impact investing and social investment
  • Jamie Broderick – former CEO of UBS Wealth Management and board member of the Impact Investing Institute
  • Dr. Susan Aktemel – Executive Director, Homes for Good (Scotland) CIC and Business Fellow of the University of Strathclyde
  • Chris Murray, Director of Core Cities Group and Chair of Fusion21

Other commissioners will be announced in due course.

The Commission will launch a Call for Evidence shortly, asking social enterprises for their experience of social investment, what they need for the future and how the current market meets their needs. The Commission will then take evidence from the social investment community.

The Commission will also hold a number of witness sessions in the House of Lords to give social enterprises, social investors and experts the chance to give their views on the state of the market and how it needs to adapt for the future. The Commission will also undertake interviews and desk research to better understand social enterprises place within the wider economy and other investment markets. Following this process, the Commission will then issue a report with recommendations.

Commenting on the launch of the Commission, Lord Victor Adebowale said:

“Social enterprises are the future of business and social investment is a critical part of achieving the sector’s potential. The aim of this Commission is not to look back on what has gone right or wrong in the past, but to focus on the future and how we unlock the full power of the financial markets to support social enterprises.”

“We are launching this Commission with no preconceptions or proposals, but with an open mind and bold aspirations.”

“I hope that government, social investors and social enterprises will engage with this Commission and I look forward to seeing what we find out.”

Supporter of the Commission Chris Murray, Chair of Fusion21 and the Fusion21 Foundation said:

“The UK’s social enterprise sector is a powerful tool for public and economic good.  Yet although it is growing and diversifying, the sector as a whole shows signs of very significant untapped potential to do far more. 

“Access to finance and the ability to use it through investable propositions is one way of unlocking the resource that social enterprise represents.  This could not only benefit communities and individuals throughout the UK, but also diversify our national economic model in a way that will make us more economically, socially and environmentally resilient, at a moment of real change.  As a social enterprise ourselves, we’re proud to support this Commission which goes to the heart of these issues.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • More information about the Commission can be found here.
  • Social enterprises are businesses which have a legal commitment to achieving a positive social and environmental mission as well as delivering a profit. The majority of any profit that they do make must be reinvested either back into the business to deliver their mission or given to another organisation to achieve that mission. The UK is a world leader in social enterprise and has one of the largest social enterprise sectors in the world in terms of size and scale.
  • To read more about the social enterprise sector and its size, please read The Hidden Revolution, available online.
  • 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 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.
  • Lord Victor Adebowale CBE is Chair of Social Enterprise UK. Lord Victor began his career in housing and was Chief Executive of Centre Point, the National Youth Homelessness Charity from 1995 until 2001. In 2000, Lord Victor was awarded a CBE for services to the New Deal, the unemployed, and homeless young people and in 2001, he was appointed a cross bench member of the House of Lords. Lord Victor is also Chancellor at the University of Lincoln.
  • Fusion21 helps public sector organisations to procure smarter across the built environment and deliver on their social impact and sustainability goals. To date the firm has saved more than £226 million through the procurement process, created 6,500 jobs and generated more than £84 million of social impact.
  • For more information please contact Andrew O’Brien, Director of External Affairs, Social Enterprise UK (andrew.obrien@socialenterprise.org.uk and 07889129971).