Roundtable event to discuss Social Investment

Roundtable event to discuss Social Investment

03 December 2014

On the 12th December, the Building Change Trust is hosting a roundtable discussion with the Alternative Commission on Social Investment to discuss social finance and its ramifications for the Northern Ireland Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

The event, which is taking place at Riddel Hall in Belfast, will address the opinion that there is a significant gap between the rhetoric and reality around social investment.

The Alternative Commission on Social Investment, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, is an initiative set-up to investigate what is wrong with the UK social investment market and to make practical suggestions for how the market can be made more accessible and relevant to a wider range of charities, social enterprises and citizens working to bring about positive social change.

The Commission will look at how we can move beyond replicating expensive mainstream approaches to finance for the social sector and develop approaches that are more social, putting people before structures and institutions and prioritising social change.

The Alternative Commission will explore five key questions and provide a report in February 2015:

  1. What do social sector organisations want?
  2. Can social investment, as currently conceived, meet that need?
  3. What’s social about social investment?
  4. Who are social investors and what do they want?
  5. What can we do to make social investment better? 

Nigel McKinney, Director of Operations, Building Change Trust said: “The joint event with the Trust and the Alternative Commission on Social Investment provides an important opportunity for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland to give their views on how social investment can be made to work in the Northern Ireland context.

"Many consider that social finance developments here lag behind developments elsewhere. Our event on 12th December at Riddel Hall provides an opportunity to discuss the reasons why and what actions need to be taken by policy makers and those with intent to support this area of work here".

As the Trust advances the work on social finance and investment, we want to ensure that the knowledge, experience and opinions of key sector stakeholders in Northern Ireland are fed into this Alternative Commission which ultimately aims to support better policy development and implementation.

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