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September 26, 2009    

Government invests £5m in social enterprise

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by David Masters

The UK government is set to invest £5 million in socially responsible businesses.

Angela Smith, charities minister, said the money would provide “the missing link between social enterprise and finance.”

Smith announced the investment at this month’s Social Investment Conference, and said she fully supports plans for a Social Investment Wholesale Bank.

“I am keen that we develop ways to harness the power of the market and unlock mainstream capital,” she said.

“Today’s announcement is an example of how the government can fill the gaps in the social investment market, by investing directly and in doing so, leading the way and encouraging the market to follow.”

Investors are increasingly seeking an ethical return on their money, Smith claimed.

“This is an exciting time for social investment, and, despite the challenging economic climate, I believe there are opportunities to be seized,” she said.

“More and more people are seeking out ethical products and services, investors want to know that their investments will not only reap a financial return but will also deliver social benefits.”

The £5 million will be invested by the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, and will be matched by individuals, foundations, and institutions.

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Tags: Angela Smith, £5 million, , , , mainstream capital, social finance, social investment