Charities Aid Foundation and Legal & General launch a pioneering local social investment scheme.
29 March 2012
The CAF and Legal & General scheme is designed to bring together large businesses and hundreds of local communities. Initially the scheme will be run as a pilot in Brighton & Hove. If successful, thousands of people across the UK could benefit.
The two organisations 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 provided by Legal & General, a £10,000 interest free loan and expert advice for social enterprises from CAF.
The scheme aims to 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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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 the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Innovation in Giving Fund.
NESTA’s fund invests in delivery of practical programmes that inspire others to solve big challenges. If successful, the model can be replicated in cities across the UK, encouraging local companies to invest time and money to support this important sector of the economy.
Applications from social enterprises interested in taking part in the scheme will be invited in summer 2012. For more information on social investment please visit www.cafonline.org
Notes to editors
Legal & General is committed to its broader social responsibilities, including to the environment. It is recognised for its commitment to social responsibility by, amongst other things, inclusion in the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. The Company also holds a Gold classification for CSR in the BITC (Business in the Community) Index and a Platinum position in the BITC Environmental Index.
The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK’s leading financial services companies. As at 31 December 2011, we were responsible for investing £370 billion worldwide on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders. We also had over seven million customers in the UK for our life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.
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