What does it mean for social enterprises to be ‘investment ready’? What support do they typically need to meet the investment criteria of social impact investors? And what lessons have been learnt in the UK that can be applied across the globe? The Guardian spoke to our member, Social Investment Business, to try to answer some of these questions.
The Guardian spoke to Chris Dadson, Business Development Manager for Euclid member Social Investment Business, to help answer these questions as the British Council launches a Business and Investment Readiness pilot programme which will provide consultancy services to social enterprises in nine countries to help them to strengthen their organisational capacity, better measure and communicate their impact, and successfully bid for grant and investment funding.
The Social Investment Business (SIB) is a pioneering UK social investment specialist. They support social enterprises through loans, grants and other financial products to help them do more of what they do best. Since 2002 they have disbursed over £380m in loans and grants to 1,100 organisations. Their experience in the social investment sector has highlighted several challenges to investing in social enterprises. Often organisations that come to them:
- Lack the financial skills to effectively manage an investment.
- Are overly optimistic when forecasting how much money they will make.
- Haven’t clearly established how they will pay the investment back.
- Have unengaged boards that fail to challenge the management team.
- Are overly reliant on a single product or service.
- Are not equipped to respond to change or ensure survival when times get tough.
Read the full article in the Guardian, ‘How to prepare social enterprises for impact investment‘, to find out more.