Thursday, 11 October 2012

Loans are good..

I'm not good early. I hate breakfast meetings. So why was I pitching up at my third breakfast this week I asked myself as I battled the Tube crowds to het to Schroders for an Acevo breakfast meeting with Nick O'Donohue of Big Society Capital.

But a croissant and bacon sarni later I cheered up amd got into the very interesting discussion of how to expand the role of social finance. Discussion on the power of loans is becoming more prevalent in our sector and there are some interesting innovations. We have seen the SCOPE bond to support their expansion of charity shops.

Now Oxfam has joined up with investment experts to launch a fund worth up to $100m that will make "impact investments" in small and medium-sized companies in the developing world.

The Small Enterprise Impact Investing Fund, an initiative of Oxfam, the City of London Corporation and Symbiotics, an investment company specialising in microfinance and impact investment, today announced its first investment – a $1m (£625,000) loan to Xac Leasing, a machinery leasing company in Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia.

Oxfam hopes the fund, which has attracted capital from private and institutional investors, will make investments that offer both a financial and a social return for small and medium-sized enterprises in the developing world. Oxfam’s role within the fund will be to measure the impact the investments have.

We have yet to fully explore the potential for social finance to help transform and remodel health and social care services. But given the financial challenges I suspect enterprising CCGs will soon BE looking at how they can use new models to help drive the change we need.

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