Cause UK is thrilled that our client, The Key Fund has won a major award.
Key Fund, the largest regionally based social investor in England which operates across the North, won the coveted Community Impact Award.
Based in Sheffield, Key Fund has invested over £33m in 2,200 organisations. Their investments have included the regeneration of Unity Hall to create a community benefit cooperative, and Care and Share Associates – a ground-breaking franchise for the care sector that has grown into an organisation with an £8m turnover and 550 employee-owners.
Sam Tarff, CEO of Key Fund, said: “This award is national recognition of the good work Key Fund does. It also recognises the impact our organisation now has on the sector at large. In the past year, we’ve grown to not only be known on a national government level but
recognised as a key part of the sector, as a leader and shaper of the Social Enterprise landscape.”
The awards, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and hosted by Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis, are run by the Cabinet Office and RBS and celebrate the impact of investors who support social enterprises and charities to grow and remain sustainable.
Brand new polling released today also reveals that there is a growing appetite from both individuals and organisations to invest their money into ventures that offer social returns. The survey, carried out by YouGov* on behalf of the Cabinet Office, shows that a fifth of people
would choose investments which offer a lower financial return but have a positive social impact.
The polling also says that 1 in 5 people would be more likely to invest in a socially responsible savings product if they were available in High Street banks.
Social investment helps organisations to make a vital impact both societally and economically. Around 40% of social enterprises operate in the most deprived communities in the UK and social enterprises contribute £55bn to the UK economy. Without investment many of these
organisations simply would not exist.
Take Refresh as an example. It is an organisation based in Doncaster that is focused on recycling pre-owned furniture and household goods. As well as reducing waste, it has provided 79 work placements for the long term unemployed and 11 placements for ex-offenders. Investment
from award-winners, The Key Fund, has enabled Refresh to amplify its positive impact in their local community.
Businesses like this are growing in numbers but often struggle to access finance. The awards hope to inspire other investors to back charities and social enterprises so they can continue making a big difference to millions of lives across the UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Social investment can be one of the greatest forces for social change on the planet. Whether it is reducing re-offending, tackling youth unemployment or finding loving homes for the hardest to place children in care, by using the power of
finance we can get to grips with some of the most difficult social problems that have frustrated governments around the world for generations. On behalf of the whole country I want to thank everyone attending tonight’s event for what you are doing and for the social
impact you are helping to deliver.”
Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman of RBS said: “These awards recognise some of the true pioneers of social investment in the UK today. These organisations can play an important role supporting the UK economy, and local communities up and down the UK. We’re proud to have
supported the development of social investment for the last 15 years, and these awards demonstrate our continued commitment to working closely with the sector.”
The awards also highlight that the social investment market is pushing strongly into the mainstream, with a raft of new tools and products making it easier than ever for individuals or institutions to invest their money into businesses that use profit for purpose.
The five organisations awarded range from Europe’s leading sustainable bank to a fund which allowed Manchester University to raise investment to build a cancer research facility.
Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis said: “There are many people who hope for more than just profit from their investments, they want to
feel good about what they’re doing too. Social investments allow people to do that – to put money into projects that support social
change. Therefore it’s important to support the promotion of those opportunities, so people realise it is a realistic option available to
them. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and nominees.”
Social Investment Award Winners:
– Triodos Bank (The Investor Access Award)
This award celebrates those who aim to create a market that caters to every potential investor.
Triodos Bank is the leading sustainable bank in Europe with over 30,000 retail customers in the UK. They have sought to make it easier
to become a social investor by offering a range of products that are tailored to meet the needs of different investors – from the small
scale retail investor, through to large scale institutions.
– The Omidyar Network (The Global Impact Award)
This award celebrates those who are doing the most to help unleash the potential of social investment globally.
The Omidyar Network play a leading role in developing a set of common standards for measuring financial and social returns. Their support
has helped to secure a commitment of over £125m to the Global Innovation Fund which is focused upon addressing global development
– The Key Fund (The Community Impact Award)
This award is a celebration of organisations that use social investment to maximise their impact upon local communities.
The Key Fund is the largest regionally based social investor in England and has invested over £33m in 2,200 organisations. Their
investments have included the regeneration of Unity Hall to create a community benefit cooperative, and Care and Share Associates – a
ground-breaking franchise for the care sector that has grown into an organisation with an £8m turnover and 550 employee-owners.
– The Big Venture Challenge (The Investment Readiness Award)
This award seeks to celebrate the work of those who are doing most to support social entrepreneurs as they seek investment or compete for
public and private sector contracts.
The Big Venture Challenge is delivered by UnLtd. Working with a range of specialist partners, they provide the bespoke support needed by
early-stage social entrepreneurs. Organisations supported include Oomph, a social enterprise that provides health and well-being classes
for the elderly in over 500 care homes across the UK.
– Threadneedle & Big Issue Invest – UK Social Bond Fund (The New Markets Award)
This award is a celebration of the innovators in the market and those who are building the pipeline of investment needed to support
organisations that are working to address social issues throughout the UK.
Warwickshire County Council have been the most recent investor in the Fund – with an investment of over £30m. Projects supported include the
allocation of £11.3m for the construction or refurbishment of social housing.