Oliver Pollard, Head of Enterprise Growth, reflects on the fourth year of impact of the Resonance South West SITR Fund.
I am delighted to share the Resonance South West SITR Fund’s 2020 Social Impact Report.
The Fund was launched in 2016 and is currently invested in and supports 16 social enterprises to deliver positive impact to local communities and marginalised groups in the South West, in turn helping to address and dismantle the root causes of poverty in the region – the ultimate aim of this Fund.
The Fund has pioneered the use the of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) which was introduced in 2015, which simultaneously lowers the cost of loans for enterprises and enables the potential for competitive returns to investors. This important source of subsidy to the social enterprise sector is currently under threat – read more in our Save SITR Call for Action article.
I’m especially pleased to report that after its tenth close in February 2020, the Fund has so far reached a total fund size of £3.1m from 127 investors. And as of 31 December 2020 the Fund had deployed £2.8m.
However, the Fund continues to support social enterprises through more than just investment; offering advice, support and connections that enterprises say are crucial to their ability to make a difference to the communities they serve.
Measuring the impact of the Fund enables us to celebrate positive differences made to the lives of individuals, communities and the enterprises themselves as well as helping us identify areas where more support is needed.
This report summarizes what the Fund is working to accomplish, the progress made to date and specific impact achievements made by the Fund's investees. After four years in operation, we have seen three core themes emerge across the Fund’s investment to date:
In our detailed case studies within the report, you can read about how the social enterprises address these issues through the work they do with local communities and hard to reach groups.
It is also encouraging to see that what the social enterprises have been achieving overall:
Of course, we cannot forget the impact of COVID-19. At the end of the period that this report covers, March 2020, COVID-19 had started to impact on the social enterprises that have been invested in by the Fund. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been working closely with both our investees and pipeline social enterprises, to help them access both financial and non-financial support. We have also worked closely with our peers to establish sector-wide understanding and national level responses – such as the Social Enterprise Support Fund and the Recovery and Resilience Loan Fund.
We are delighted to see the level of impact already being delivered through the brilliant social enterprises we're supporting and look forward to seeing what more can be achieved as we continue to invest in social enterprises tackling poverty and disadvantage across the region.
Read more about how the South West SITR Fund is helping social enterprises across the region in our fourth Social Impact Report.
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