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Engaging Government

2021 was an important year for our work with Government. We continued to grow awareness and deepen the understanding of social impact investment with government audiences.

We built new and deepened existing relationships with government stakeholders around key priority areas. This included engaging Ministers, MPs, Special Advisers and think-tanks through participation in Big Society Capital events, or through one-to-one meetings to discuss the potential of social outcomes partnerships in delivering more effective and cost-efficient public services.

Supportive policies

Our aim is to create supportive policies for social investment, and in 2021 this included the two-year extension of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), which will continue to reduce the cost of capital available to frontline organisations. The campaign to save SITR, working with key partners Social Enterprise UK, Co-operatives UK, Resonance and Social Investment Scotland, built a large coalition of nearly 50 social sector representatives and investors to jointly advocate to Government. We also helped to secure the 50 basis-point discount on the Recovery Loan Scheme for social sector lenders.

To build upon these successes, we worked with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to create a research project led by the Impact Investing Institute, to inform policy development utilising key government levers in the social lending market.

Increasing funding

The allocation of dormant assets (a financial product such as a bank account, that hasn't been used for many years and which the provider hasn't been able to reunite with its owner, despite efforts aligned with industry best practice) towards social investment, is an ongoing priority area. In 2021 we were pleased to support successful calls for £20 million of dormant assets to the Access Foundation to further expand the reach of social investment, enabling smaller charities and social enterprises, often based in the most deprived communities, to access the finance they need. This year we will continue to work with partners to unlock further dormant asset funding for social enterprises and charities, connecting capital to the areas where it is needed most.

In 2021, we also helped the Impact Investing Institute, The Good Economy and Pensions For Purpose to secure a new target for local government pension funds in England to spend at least 5% of their £337 billion of combined assets in their local area.