Why we make social investments
Our social investments achieve a direct social impact (such as affordable homes, employment, low cost finance, affordable energy) and an expectation that the money can be returned, so it can be invested again. JRF’s definition of poverty is when a person’s resources are not sufficient to meet their basic needs, which includes the need to be part of society. Our social investments help solve poverty.
As a society, we believe that supporting each other is the right thing to do. To that end, since 2015, JRF has been making social investments that contribute to our vision, for a prosperous UK without poverty.
At 31.12.2019 we have committed around £10 million to social investments. We have made direct investments into charities and social enterprises such as Glasgow Together, Fair For You, Timewise and RefuAid. We have made investments into specialist funds such as Big Issue Invest and the North East Social Enterprise Fund. We have backed affordable housing in the form of the London Community Land Trust and the National Homelessness Property Fund.
Our largest social investment is a £3m commitment to the Fair by Design Venture Fund. This is a fund, managed by Ascension Ventures, which directly invests in early stage ventures that are aimed at eliminating the poverty premium. This is where people in poverty pay more for the same goods or services than others do. Our co-investors in Fair by Design include Big Society Capital, Social Tech Trust, Comic Relief and Barrow Cadbury.
Alongside the Venture Fund is the Fair by Design Campaign, which is managed by Barrow Cadbury Trust and is supported by a range of grant funders including JRF. The Campaign works with government, regulators, business and the social justice sector to design out the poverty premium and raise awareness amongst the public to bring about change.
A full list of our social investments can be found below.
Size of investment (£)
|National Homelessness Property Fund||£44m national fund to buy property to house formerly homeless people with the support of St Mungos Broadway||500,000|
|London Community Land Trust||£0.45m of development funds for affordable homes in London||100,000|
|Funding Affordable Homes||£44m fund to fund affordable housing and other social purpose property||500,000|
|York Refugee Housing||£0.5m direct investment to purchase homes for refugees in York||500,000|
Hartlepool Housing Heroes
|A loan to purchase and renovate a house for care leavers to refurbish and live in||75,000|
|ACH||£0.5m fund to purchase houses and flats for refugees in Birmingham|| |
|Social Impact Funds|
|North East Social Investment Fund||£10.2m fund to invest in charities and social enterprises in North East England||500,000|
|Big Issue Invest SEIF II||£22.4m fund to support growth of social enterprises nationally||500,000|
|Bridges Evergreen Fund||£50m fund to hold long term investments in established mission led organisations||500,000|
A managed account to invest in for-profit social businesses tackling UK poverty
Fair by Design
|£10m+ fund managed by Ascension Ventures to invest in solutions addressing the poverty premium||3,000,000|
|Leeds Credit Union||Subordinated debt to underpin the capital base of this major Yorkshire based credit union||250,000|
|Fair For You||Charity providing loans for white goods and essential household items, as an alternative to high cost rent to buy||500,000|
|Fair Finance||Support for personal microloans in London||130,000|
Funding as part of a £5m investment raise to help the North East based micro-lender expand its operations across the UK
|Bristol Credit Union||To provide long term patient funds to underpin growth of the credit union’s savings and loans service into underserved areas|| |
A flexible revolving credit facility to support Moneyline’s seasonal cash flow and further extend its provision of affordable loans
|Other social investments|
|Shared Lives||Development funding for replication of shared lives schemes nationally||350,000|
|Glasgow Together||£2m charity bond to purchase land and derelict property for renovation by ex offenders||250,000|
|Timewise||Growth capital to enable this flexible working consultancy to expand||250,000|
|RefuAid||Supporting access to licensing or training for refugees in the UK||210,000|
For more information on social investment, please contact Jonathan Levy at [email protected]