30 July 2020

Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK said:

“This independent review is very welcome and identifies a number of important points related to the higher cost of capital for social enterprises, concerns about the culture and sector relationships and the lack of co-production and co-design with social enterprises.

As the review notes, Big Society Capital has had a positive impact. But this should not blind us to the fact that improvements can and must be made. We hear regularly from social enterprises that the social investment market does not meet their needs. When BSC was launched, its fundamental mission was to help grow the social enterprise sector. This review has highlighted that over the years we have seen some drift from that mission, with far too much focus on growing the investment market rather than focusing on the needs of social enterprises.

Social Enterprise UK hopes that this review will help to correct some of this drift and refocus the debate. After COVID-19 we are going to need more social enterprises than ever before. We believe that Big Society Capital has a huge role to play in supporting the growth of our sector, but it needs to change.”