CAF and Legal & General to launch pioneering local social investment scheme

29 March 2012

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Legal & General are to launch a pioneering new social investment scheme designed to bring together large businesses and hundreds of local communities. If successful, thousands of people across the UK will benefit.

The scheme, which has the potential to leverage millions of pounds of social investment, gets the green light thanks to £65,000 in funding secured from NESTA’s Innovation in Giving Fund – announced today (March 29).

The scheme will help to transform local communities by providing funding for hundreds of social enterprises UK wide over a five year period. These social enterprises will help to tackle social issues in local areas while boosting the local economy; the scheme has the potential to help thousands of people.

CAF and Legal & General have developed an innovative local social investment model in which large businesses effectively link themselves and their employees to local social enterprises. The scheme brings together employee mentoring, a £10,000 interest free loan and expert advice for social enterprises.

The goal of the programme is two fold. Firstly, to help social entrepreneurs to access a new form of non-banking finance while also having practical support to help them grow towards a sustainable future. And second, to fully engage companies and employees with local communities.

This pilot is to be run in Brighton and Hove. If successful, the model will then be replicated in cities across the UK, encouraging local companies to invest time and money to support this important sector of the economy.

Chief Executive, of the Charities Aid Foundation, John Low, says: “This model has the potential to fill a funding and support gap for social enterprises that has existed in the UK for too long. I greatly value the partnership that CAF and Legal & General have developed and believe that this model could grow and leverage millions of pounds of social investment across the UK. This would help breathe life into hundreds of local community projects.”

Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility at Legal & General, Graham Precey says: “We’re very excited to be part of such a pioneering project. We see the real need for companies in major cities who do not currently trade with social enterprises through their supply chains to take a serious look at the sector to see how you actively contribute to an increasingly important part of the local economic landscape. We also hope that by involving employees in mentoring of local social entrepreneurs we will connect local employees with local social enterprises working within these communities as consumers.”

Legal & General employs 2,000 people in Brighton and Hove. Applications from social enterprises interested in taking part in the scheme will be invited in Summer 2012.

Media contacts

For more information please contact the CAF Media team or Mike Connell at Legal and General by telephone on 01737 375365 or via email.

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