Funding for the Future - Social Finance Development in NI
The Building Change Trust, Charity Bank and the Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) hosted a seminar on the future development of social finance in Northern Ireland at Malone House in Belfast on the 5th November.
The event was opened by Simon Hamilton, Minister for Finance and Personnel, who delivered the keynote address, a summary of which can be viewed below.
Also speaking at the event were representatives from Big Society Capital(BSC), the world's first social investment bank.
BSC formally launched in April 2012, with an estimated £600 million of equity to be paid-in over 5 years, of which £400 million will be from unclaimed assets left dormant in bank accounts for over 15 years and £200 million from the UK’s largest high street banks.
They seek to support the growth of a social investment market in the UK by revolutionising the way in which the social sector is funded.
Through supporting the growth of social investment finance providers, they hope to improve access to innovative forms of financing, and connect the sector to capital markets.
The event built on an earlier piece of research funded by the Building Change Trust, and carried out by UCIT and Charity Bank, which made several key recommendations on ways to develop the social investment market here in Northern Ireland.
The event which was attended by civil servants and leaders within the community and voluntary sector enabled discussion on the actions needed to develop social finance in Northern Ireland building on the work to date of UCIT and Charity Bank.
Nigel McKinney, Building Change Trust Director of Operations, said: “Social Finance is less well developed in Northern Ireland in comparison to other parts of the UK.
"Given a focus here on the development of social enterprise, and the expected move by government towards contracts based on payments by results, it is clear Northern Ireland community and voluntary organisations will need new types of financial products and investment to enable developments to take place.
“Big Society Capital have a UK wide remit and this event allowed those attending to learn of their work and consider their role here”.