It takes sunshine AND rain to make a rainbow

Grace Howells, senior investment analyst at Resonance, discusses the development of our angel investor network and why making sure that investors and social enterprises are compatible is a top priority at Resonance.


I’ve been focusing some of my efforts this year on the development of the Resonance Angel Investor Network (RAIN), following a number of new social investment opportunities for individual investors – not least, the recently launched Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR).  This tax break has provided not only a tax relief incentive for social investors, but it has also been used to make sure social enterprises can access investment on terms that work for them (most importantly, making the investment more affordable and patient). After arranging the very first SITR deal in the country (which was awarded ‘Social Investment Deal of the Year 2015’ by Social Enterprise UK), 2015 also saw Resonance launch the country’s first SITR Fund.  This has led us to engage with more individual investors than ever before, many of whom are exploring social investment for the first time.

At Resonance we believe that all individuals should be empowered to invest for transformational social impact, through businesses that are directly tackling some of the most pressing social challenges in the UK and beyond.

We also believe it is crucial that investors are absolutely aligned with the values and mission of the social enterprises in which they invest. Every investor has different priorities and social issues that there are most passionate about tackling, as do social enterprises.  But successfully matching investors and social enterprises that share a common commitment to driving a specific change in the world is what we believe social investment is all about.

16_diRAIN is one of the key ways in which we build this bridge – connecting social enterprises that have growth potential, with investors that share their social mission. We don’t do this through a paying members’ club based around fancy dinners or events – we are an opportunity-sharing network of people looking to build long-term relationships, with the common goal of scaling social impact.

These opportunities also offer a range of investment structures to suit a range of investors, from direct investments to community shares and managed impact funds. We’ve been developing unique direct investment opportunities through our Corporate Advisory and Deal Arranging team since 2002, where we work one-to-one with social enterprises to help them prepare for investment and find the right investment solution for them. On the other hand, our Impact Funds offer a managed portfolio approach in either a specific impact area or geography. Investors also have the opportunity to get more ‘hands on’ by offering their time and skills to support social enterprises through our Business Support Network.

If you are interested in joining the Resonance Angel Investor Network and learning more about the exciting investment opportunities we have coming up over the next 12 months, please get in touch with me at e/