Grace England, Deputy Head of Enterprise Growth Funds at Resonance, reflects on the key findings of Resonance's West Midlands Social Investment Tax Relief Fund's 2019/20 Social Impact Report.
I am delighted to announce the publication of the second annual Social Impact Report from the Resonance West Midlands SITR Fund, and to share the level and range of positive social impact being delivered by the social enterprises that the Fund has invested in.
The Fund’s aim is to dismantle poverty across the West Midlands by investing in local social enterprises that are doing fantastic work to tackle some of society’s biggest issues. This is an ambitious goal that involves addressing issues which contribute to perpetuating the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
At the end of the reporting period (September 2020) the Resonance West Midlands SITR Fund had:
The Fund continues to deploy and as of March 2021 has invested a further £330k into three additional social enterprises (these deals will be covered in the Fund’s next social impact report), with many more in the investment pipeline.
The Social Impact Report shares detailed case studies of each of the Fund’s first six investees, highlighting their key social impact achievements and the ways in which they support local communities and hard to reach groups through the work that they do. The report also summaries the challenges investees have faced, including the impact of COVID-19, as well as their future plans for growth and development.
Between them, the investees are providing an incredible range of mentoring, education, training, employment, volunteering opportunities and more for disadvantaged people across the region. This includes people who are long term unemployed, people with physical and mental health issues, young people at risk of exclusion from school, young offenders and other marginalised groups.
Skill Mill young employee - environmental operative:“I found it (The Skill Mill) useful and enjoyable. I feel confident in what I’m doing now. I have found new friends in my teammates. I enjoyed all aspects of the work as it’s something I want to do. It has changed my life because I have had extra responsibilities.”
Challenge Academy student: “I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me, you have been so supportive and encouraging and you have given me hope, confidence and self-belief.”
Investment from the Fund into its investees has provided these social enterprises with stability, as well as the opportunity to grow, increase their impact and their revenue. But we are committed to providing much more than financial investment through the Fund. We also provide ongoing support and guidance for investees, helping them to build local networks and connections, develop their growth and impact strategies, and access additional funding and support where needed. This support ensures that investment from the Fund is as impactful as possible for the social enterprise and those they support.
Gro Organic: “We’ve had excellent ongoing support from Resonance since receiving the investment including notifying us of funding opportunities, supporting us to access grant funding, keeping in regular contact with us, providing opportunities to raise our profile and taking us step by step through completing tax documentation in connection with the investment.”
Since the start of the pandemic, we have been working closely with both our investees and social enterprises in our investment pipeline. Our priority has been to support them through this very challenging time and do all we can to help them access both financial and non-financial support.
Gro Organic: “Resonance kept us on track with our application during a very challenging period when it would otherwise have been very easy for the investment to be put on the backburner while we focused on service users and staff needs during the pandemic.”
We are delighted to report that even though all our investees have been impacted by the pandemic during this reporting period, through their resourcefulness, resilience and resolve they have:
We are incredibly proud to see this level of impact being delivered by our investees 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 our second West Midlands SITR Fund Social Impact Report here.
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