Big Society Capital looks back and ahead.

The Big Society Capital has published its first annual report.

Last year the Government set up Big Society Capital as a social investment bank with the aim of radically changing the way Britain’s social sector is funded. With £400 million from dormant bank accounts and £200 million from High Street banks, the new institution aimed to kick-start what’s called the social investment market.

So how has it done in the last year? According to its first annual report, Big Society Capital has committed £56 million to 20 social investment intermediaries over the past year. And it plans to commit another £75 to £100 million in up to 20 new investments in the next financial year. It also made a loss of £1 million during the period April to December 2012.

Looking ahead, the Big Society Capital hopes to have a number of regional social investment funds across the UK. To that end, it has announced a partnership with the Northern Rock Foundation to capitalise social investment intermediaries in the North East of England. It hopes to announce that other regional funds will follow in due course.

Big Society Capital also plans to launch a second outcomes finance fund alongside the recently launched Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund. And in the next three to four months it hopes to launch a new fund focused on unsecured credit for the social sector.

Separately, in a recent interview with civilsociety.co.uk, Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of Big Society Capital, said £39 million of capital had been delivered to 15 social investment finance intermediaries, which have so far benefited 23 frontline organisations. The investments to frontline organisations ranged from charities to community projects, with the finance ranging from £10,000 to £300,000. He went on to say that Big Society Capital would be working with large grantmakers to help communities take ownership of their assets.

Nick O’Donohoe explained:

“We want to develop a one-stop-shopping place for grants, loans and advice. The problem for small community organisations is that it is very difficult to navigate the cocktail of grants, investment and advice they need to help them.”

Further information about the Big Society Capital, including its annual report, can be found on its website (opens new window).

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