It is always pleasing to attract an increasing number of new investors but, equally, we are always delighted when investors return to back another fund or venture. One measure shows our increasing reach and the other the depth of the relationship. The largest volume of investors currently tracks the community share issues we arrange where the bulk of capital is in small tranches from ethical savers. We’re honoured to have a faithful following of foundations, local authorities and angel investors who continue to entrust us to look after more of their capital.
Our funds under management have continued to grow and, as most of our funds operate with a two year investment period, we are currently deploying capital slightly ahead of this natural time lag. This is true even though some capital has begun to be returned from the social enterprises in meaningful quantities. However, our focus remains on the useful capital actually drawn by social enterprises across both Ventures and Funds, with the total over the last five years being £141m.
Sometimes the work we do with social enterprises spans several years and begins a considerable way before they are ready for investment and, in some situations, investment is ultimately not the right solution for them. Investment is one tool to grow the social impact of an organization and this year we’ve backed twenty. Whilst we like to think we help and support many more enterprises informally, what we are showing here is the number that have valued our support sufficiently to pay for it.
The provision of capital to a social enterprise might make it stronger or bigger, but the real change in society is achieved by the social entrepreneurs we back and the people they support. This support takes many different forms but at the very least this shows the reach of the social enterprises we support. Easier to attribute to the capital we provide is the number of new people housed each year and it was a real milestone to have provided in excess of 3,000 people with homes over the past five years.