I've worked for Big Society Capital for nearly three years now, and one thing that we keep hearing is that social investment (and indeed all types of finance and investment) remains pretty complicated for many charities and social enterprises.
At Big Society Capital, one of our key roles is to make it easier for charities and social enterprises to make informed decisions about how and when using finance and investment might be right for them, so we've spent a lot of time pondering how best to respond to this problem. That's why we're delighted to be launching this project today - GoodFinance.org.uk.
The plan between now and the summer is to work with a broad range of charities and social enterprises to understand what they really want, and how best to design something that meets their needs efficiently - and isn't another huge drain on the time of already busy people. We've brought together a great steering group, with representatives from NCVO, Locality, SEUK, Flip Finance, Cabinet Office, Matter&Co, Access - the Foundation for Social Investment and Big Society Capital. Our first meeting in January agreed:
- a shared terms of reference for the project. You can find more details about this on the About This Project page
- to produce a library of diagnostic tools and existing resources, to make sure we are complimenting and building on existing resources
- to launch this website, using existing content from Big Society Capital's old website, as a beta site that we can then build on
- to produce a summary of all the existing research that has happened in this area, so we can build on what we already know
We'll be reviewing all of this at our next meeting in February, where we'll also be discussing who the key user groups for this project will be. As the project develops, we'll publish updates on this blog, as well as continuing to add content to this website. Supporting me as Chair and the rest of the steering group, will be my colleague Kieran Whiteside, whose job it will be to keep everything on track. If you want to know more about this project or find out how to get involved, please drop him a line.
By Jo Tilley-Riley, Big Society Capital