Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Time for action Nick

Strange isn't it? The Government are keen to boost investment and Vince Cable is talking about a " state bank". And lots of discussion about how to support SMEs.

Perhaps someone could point out that there is a sector employing some 1 million people. SMEs providing jobs and opportunities as well as volunteering positions- otherwise known as charities and social enterprises.

And there used to be an organisation that provided loans for this. Remember it? Futurebuilders.

Currently the Social Investment business is sitting on £28m in loan repayments and interest because the Office of the Third Sector wants to keep this for projects. We know there is huge demand for loans from our many investees, let alone third sector organisations with good ideas and strong business plans for growth. We can't get loans from banks. So why not free up this money know and get it working Nick?

When Futurebuidlers was closed it was getting loan applications running at £90m a month. The demand is there. But there is practically no supply.

Big society capital is getting started but even when in full throttle it will probably not meet what we need. And we need action now.

Practically no one is now making loans to our sector. It is time for proposals from OCS to tie in with broader Government action to boost growth.

The Treasury need to be reminded of the role third sector organisations can play in job creation. We need some vigour put back into the limping public service reform programmes. That's the agenda for OCS and Nick Hurd. Let's get cracking.

Am I the only one who gets a sinking feeling the sector is being overlooked as an agent for change , innovation and growth?

1 comment:

Allison Ogden-Newton said...

Great post Stephen, I totally agree that growth will only come with investment and we don't need to worry about what works as the sector has proved it knows how to make the most of vehicles such as Futurebuilders. Lets hope those that are in a position to make those key decisions are reading your blog too. So many social enterprises and voluntary organisations are missing out on increasingly competitive contracting and commissioning processes due to lack of available investment, this situation is as you say, urgent.