Thursday, 16 April 2009

Welcome support

Good to see a press release today from NCVO backing a number of ideas that ACEVO strongly believes in ....who says we can't work together .

We are both strong backers of the Social Investment bank and have both written to the Chancellor urging support . The DWP-ACEVO Taskforce ( chaired by the effective Tony Hawkhead and the cerebral David Freud )that reported in February called for a Bank to be established post haste . the report argued for a SIB with £250m from unclaimed assets. But it also said the Government should support the idea by immediately releasing funds to set the Bank up . NCVO argue for £50 m immediately and we support that . I know that ministers are very sympathetic as I have discussed it with them on a number of occasions over the last 2 years! Progress can be slow at times. I also know that the PM is a supporter of the idea and has been lobbied by key figures like the great venture capital leader Sir Ronnie Cohen .

With my Futurebuilders hat on we have also been pushing the idea , and indeed are working with colleagues in the French third sector on a push for a European Social Investment Bank ,. We are working on an Anglo-French Summit , at Ministerial level , to talk about this and how we can argue the case with the EU Commission . recently in connection with the G20 Summit we floated the idea of a World Social Bank . The sector needs access to capital . The success of Futurebuilders shows that there is a strong market for investment funds . But the capital available is still not enough . We must be ambitious. this is the new frontier that the sector must cross and conquer. Why should we be cut off from the capital channels that are open to the public and private sectors?

I do think that when there is such strong support from NCVO , ACEVO and bodies like the Social Enterprise Coalition and the Community Alliance we should be able to achieve this goal . It would be a smart move for Government to announce action on the Bank in the Budget . We will see.

I am also pleased that NCVO are backing ACEVO's idea for an opt out on gift aid . it is ironic that when acevo argued for this idea 3 years ago we were loudly condemned. Sometimes it takes time for an idea to come to fruition . It would be churlish of me now not to welcome support , so thank you to Ben Kernigan and ncvo.

Working together in this way across sector bodies is the right approach in a recession.


Anonymous said...


Surely striving to work together is essential at all times and not just in a recession.

Mark Santos
Positive East

Sir Stephen Bubb said...

yes , indeed , though working together may not alweays mean having the same view or emphasis. this is not a monolithic sector after all . Im doing a blog on this shortly out fot it!