The SMV Social Business Committee was established to develop and implement strategies that would enable the use of business skills to address social problems on an efficient and sustainable basis.
Early on, it was evident that there were a number of potential sources of significant funding for social businesses, but, in the absence of a proven track-record or credible backing, these were difficult for new or nascent enterprises to access.
The Committee decided that the solution lay in establishing a regional Community Interest Company (CIC), with broad support from established regional institutions. The CIC would provide a focal point for social enterprises seeking practical and financial support for projects capable of servicing and repaying long-term loan capital.
The new organisation would, in due course, act as a source of investment opportunities, meeting eligibility criteria for public sector or private sector funding, especially where social investment tax reliefs were available.
Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC (BBRC) was founded four years ago, supported by SMV alongside other major institutions in the region. BBRC prioritises the promotion of employability and enterprise, as well as the development of homes, communities and community assets.
With BBRC now going strong, the SMV Social Business Committee is focussing on several new projects, including plans to raise a bespoke investment fund to provide matched equity funding for social businesses seeking to raise commercial debt.
SMV is pleased to be continuing its backing for social entrepreneurs seeking ways to promote important initiatives within our own region.