Market intelligence. Beating the sharks. Social investment

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1 Autumn 2010 Market intelligence Who topped the RBS SE100 Index? Untold banking profiles the social enterprise champs Beating the sharks David Orr, CEO of the National Housing Federation on working with RBS to tackle exorbitant credit Social investment The new finance vehicles delivering returns for society and investors

2 Contents 02 Supporting enterprise By Chris Sullivan, CEO of the Corporate Banking Division 03 The digest A round up of what we have been doing to make enterprise happen everywhere 04 Face to Face NatWest RM Emily Astor speaks to Kids Co. founder Camila Batmanghelidjh 06 Social investment Untold banking explores what social investment means in the current economic climate 10 Specialisterne Scotland An innovative business set up to provide specialist jobs for people living with autism 13 Market intelligence The RBS SE100 Index captures the rapid growth and leading lights of the social enterprise sector 16 Guest column David Orr of the National Housing Federation explains why he has joined forces with RBS to go head to head with loan sharks 17 Source of innovation Community Banking s directors Duncan Sloan and Eric Munro on exciting social innovations 18 Q&A Interview with Community Interest Company Regulator Sarah Burgess Contact us Untold banking is designed and edited for RBS Community Banking by Main cover image: Camila Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company meets RBS relationship manager Emily Astor. Photo: Mark Chilvers Supporting enterprise where it matters most Chris Sullivan, chief executive of the Corporate Banking Division at RBS, tells us why RBS is committed to investing in enterprise RBS works with a broad spectrum of businesses in the UK including SMEs, social enterprises and entrepreneurial ventures. With the recent publication of the Business Finance Taskforce Report by the chief executives of major banks and the BBA, there is a renewed impetus to ensure that enough support is provided for the SME market. RBS is supportive of measures to increase investment, provide more business mentors and introduce new lending principles to facilitate this aim. We have been active in the social enterprise space for many years, and the RBS SE100 Index is a significant step forward in terms of measuring impact and growth in this sector. The intelligence provided by the indicator will be a tremendously useful tool to demonstrate the importance of these socially conscious businesses. Read on to find out more about social enterprises that have shown real success, on page 13. Filling the social gaps in financial provision for communities in need is a key part of our wider financial inclusion strategy, demonstrated in the success of our partnership with Glasgow-based Scotcash. Community Banking at RBS has helped to facilitate bringing this model to England with the new affordable credit provider pilot My Home Finance (MHF). MHF is a new high street service that provides loans to the financially excluded, building local relationships to service their needs. This scheme is primarily supported by the National Housing Federation and RBS are very proud to be involved in this initiative. Read on to find out what David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, has to say about it, on page 16. RBS has a large and diverse range of business customers across a broad selection of sectors, and it is important that we understand their individual needs. Under the banner of Supporting Enterprise, we work with partners to create opportunities for businesses that may not have traditionally had access to financial services. In doing this we hope to enable social innovation that makes a real difference. Untold banking captures just some of the examples that bring this story to life. Chris Sullivan CEO, Corporate Banking Division, RBS Group The digest Credit to collaboration Borrowers who are forced to resort to expensive credit from doorstep lenders and payday loans will be able to access more affordable products following a collaboration between Government, the social housing sector and RBS. My Home Finance (www. myhomefinance.org.uk) was launched in the West Midlands as a pilot in October If successful it will be rolled out nationwide from April next year. The branches will provide loans charging a typical APR of 29.9 per cent, which compares to the high rates charged by doorstep and payday lenders, which can range from 200 per cent to 2,000 per cent. See David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation s column on page 16. Looking to the future A prestigous awards ceremony designed to celebrate the achievements of young people who have set up ethical businesses (aged 18 to 35 years) was held in central London to coincide with Social Enterprise Day in November. Delivered by Striding Out, an innovative training agency, the Future 100 Awards judged those young people who had successfully balanced economic, social and environmental goals to achieve entrepreneurial success. See page 17 to find out why NatWest partnered this initiative. MoneySense for business MoneySense for business, a free and impartial money advice resource for small and medium sized businesses, is encouraging social enterprises, charities and businesses in deprived neighbourhoods to access its services. The online resource offers a wealth of support materials to help organisations through the economic downturn, focussing particularly on what businesses can do to stay in control of their cashflow. The service, also available to non-rbs customers, is available at Knowledge transfer The Prince s Trust s long standing expertise in helping young people to set up their own businesses has been captured and distilled into a highly practical book. The book, called Make It Happen, includes real life stories and practical advice for people setting up in business. Sponsored by RBS, the book includes informed advice from business leaders including the BBC Dragon James Caan. It is available now from all good book shops. Rewarding young entrepreneurs... A boutique, a recruitment company, a mechanic and a golf tour operator were among the finalists in this year s Prince s Scottish Youth Business Trust s National Business awards. The overall winner was awarded with a 2,000 prize at a ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers in November. RBS has worked in partnership with PSYBT since 1989 providing financial support and experienced RBS employees as business mentors. During which time PSYBT has assisted 11,566 young people to start 9,598 businesses. Find out who won by visiting www. psybt.org.uk. 02 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 / 03

3 Face to face Emily Astor, relationship manager for Charities and Not for Profit at NatWest Commercial Banking and Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and director at Kids Company have a relationship that can be banked on Kids Company is a social enterprise and registered charity that provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children in London. Emily: I got to know Kids Company, and Camila, about six months ago. They had various overdrafts and I just went to introduce myself and find out more about them, and to talk about their issues and any risks they face. Camila: We were looking for a bank who was prepared to have a charity whose income was completely unpredictable, with 1,700 different sources every month and only a little bit of it consistent or predictable. It felt like it would be more work for the bank than gain! Emily: I studied neuroscience as part of my degree, so I have a real personal interest in what Kids Company does. They have such passion, too, and they work so hard. It makes my job nicer seeing how passionate they are. Camila: I adore Emily. She is so intelligent and I was stunned to find out that she had studied neuroscience. One of our main programmes is research into the impact of child maltreatment on brain development (www.kidspeaceofmind.org). Emily is always sensitive to the fluctuations of income and its consequent impact on the charity. She is solution focused and wants the best for Kids Company. Emily: Banks and clients need honesty on both sides. You have to put your cards on the table at the beginning, and Kids Company has done that. And so have we. We ve looked at their risks and issues, and talked about their plans so we can give our opinion of them. Camila: We need a bank who are generous, patient and compassionate. They go through the hard times and a few good times with us and, amazingly, we end up banking about 12m worth of income with them every year, but sadly for them it s all spent on the children. Emily: I think Kids Company has become really good at planning for the future since we started working together. I ve been struck by how they talk about plan A and plan B. They re looking forward, and adding layers to concrete plans. Camila: Our partnership with NatWest has meant that the bank was continuously involved in the decisions we were making. For example, prior to us receiving the largest grant from the Youth Sector Development Fund ( 12.7m over three years) we had no money and the bank knew that we were campaigning for proper funding for the 14,000 children who were self-referring to our services. The bank allowed us to be entrepreneurial by shouldering the risk alongside us. Emily: I came from a generalist banking background. But I love the passion of people in the third sector. It makes getting up to go to work so much easier when you re really interested, and I love seeing my clients grow and change, and working out how we can help them as a bank. Camila: Every day I see children who have endured horrific levels of abuse and neglect. They have been baffled by their parents vulnerabilities and inability often to protect them. Sometimes carers have harmed the children, betraying trust and eroding selfesteem. Yet despite these challenges I am astounded by the children s ability to forgive and have hope. They are the reason I carry on climbing the fundraising mountain every day. Often on the way I meet genuinely compassionate donors who take my breath away with the unassuming way in which they give. Whatever the challenges, the children I work for remain awe-inspiring and I consider myself lucky to be alongside them as they recover their catastrophic loss of dignity. Emily: Kids Company has a good strategy in place now. Its future depends on where their funding comes from, but it s great that they know what they want to do. I d love to see them expand around the country. They have the fundamentals in place, and so much potential. Camila: There are at least 1.5m children being abused and neglected every year in this country. My dream is to see children who are alone as a result of parental neglect and abandonment be able to access a sanctuary on a daily basis. Kids Company has created street level centres like this and independent evaluations have demonstrated efficacy of the model. Children don t vote, so they can t hold politicians accountable. People who care need to mobilise on their behalf. NatWest is doing its bit by building a strong relationship with Kids Company. Find out more at To contact Emily Image: Emily Astor (left) meets Camila Batmanghelidjh at the Kids Company s vibrant offices in south London 04 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 / 05

4 Growing the social investment marketplace As civil society organisations face cuts to funding and increasing demand for their services, they must look to social investment as a source of finance. But are they ready to embrace social investment and is the market place ready for mainstream investors? Images: New approaches to levering investment into reducing reoffending are being piloted through innovative financial vehicles such as the Social Impact Bond at Peterborough Prison There are 900,000 civil society organisations in the UK. Charities, voluntary bodies, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals employ 1.6m people between them and generate an annual income of 157bn. If that seems a lot to raise via tin rattling at the side of the road you re right. According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the total amount raised from charitable giving in the UK sits at 9.9bn, less than seven per cent of that 157bn total, and the recession isn t helping matters with giving down by 11 per cent in the last year. Yet, demand for the services provided by civil society organisations is up by 17 per cent. These 900,000 organisations increasingly survive by earning their income, generating a kaleidoscope of creativity, caring and commercial activity from art galleries staffed by the homeless to catering by the blind across the nation. Has the financial world kept up with this activity? Not quite. Investment to support social causes is a relatively new field in the UK with plenty of room for development. RBS and NatWest are working on a strategy to boost the profile of social investment opportunities across the group. As with mainstream investment, the most common form of social investment is a simple loan. Yet even here there is room for development. While much work has been done to try and break down barriers, particularly in the last 10 years, many people in civil society still feel much more comfortable taking a grant than a loan, even when their organisation is earning money and expanding. On the side of the bankers, it is probably fair to say that there is still some confusion as to how civil society organisations operate as a business a problem which is felt most acutely by social enterprises who combine their trading activities with their mission as opposed to separating out the two. In recognition of this, RBS and NatWest have set up a dedicated, and expanding, team to service these organisations (see smart investment box, page 8). What else can be done? Stephen Bubb, CEO of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo), a well-known advocate of social investment, points to the role of intermediaries in helping build up organisations earned income and business structures to the point where they become more obviously bankable. Using a mixture of loans and grants this role was taken on by the government s 215m Futurebuilders Fund. The fund is administered by The Social Investment Business, an organisation which Bubb chairs. He explains: Our model was to only finance unbankable propositions. If they were bankable we offered them to banks. For example, we made a loan to an organisation that submitted a hand-written application on one sheet of paper no one can walk into a bank with that they d be shown the tradesman s entrance. But we saw the potential and helped build up the organisation and the project. The lessons from Futurebuilders is that you can invest very successfully in these organisations. It s still early days, so I don t want to get carried away, but right now we have a very low rate of default, running at something like two per cent. Bubb gives two very good reasons as to why the continuing development of social investment is important. One relates to organisations securing their future, particularly in light of government cuts and falling donations. Being innovative always has to be the right business approach, says Bubb. Charities and social enterprises should always be looking for new solutions and ideas that bring benefits to beneficiaries, but particularly in light of the current funding climate this will have to drive change, they will need different ways of working and different funding streams. The second point relates to the nature of growth. How does the private sector grow? It grows through access to capital, but that has been traditionally cut off from our sector and we ve had to rely on grants and fundraising. Access to capital is the big frontier for our sector. Bubb believes we need to be talking in the billions of pounds, not the 215m allocated to Futurebuilders, and this is where a conference like Good Deals, which highlights innovations that can appeal to mainstream financial markets becomes important. Now in its third year and supported by RBS from the outset, Good Deals brings together the cutting edge work being done by a huge variety of social financiers. Work like the Social Impact Bond (SIB), being piloted at Peterborough Prison by an organisation called Social Finance, hold the promise of revolutionising the way public services are delivered. The pilot enables private investors to secure a return if reoffending rates are cut. There is potential for such schemes to reduce the cost to the public purse enabling the Treasury to make returns to investors. People as illustrious as the father of venture capital in Europe Sir Ronald Cohen believe the SIB, if successful, will help start a social investment asset class attracting billions of pounds from the financial markets. Cohen will be one of the big names talking at this years Good Deals conference. Another organisation pioneering in the field is Bridges Ventures which is working hard to find new forms of finance appropriate for social enterprises the most recent innovation being a social lease. Bridges Ventures executive director, Antony Ross, sees the value of the Good Deals conference in the name he says there is a real need to get good deals done. In social investment there is a sense of it being poised ready to expand. Quite a few elements are in place: there are funds in place, there is a growing understanding of what social enterprises are, a growing level of interest, and an increasing number of advisors and supporters gearing themselves up to help. But, says Ross, the volume of deals is still low and this is almost a Catch 22 situation. Until there are more deals done people will 06 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 / 07

5 not feel comfortable about making deals themselves because they will be unsure of what a usual package looks like, and what is normal on the market what a good deal looks like and how it should be structured. To my mind what facilitates growth in investment is people doing things that s why conferences that look at what is going on and share that, are, I think, very valuable, says Ross. Hugh Biddell is head of Charities and Public Sector in the Corporate Banking Team at RBS. He too says people need to get more comfortable with social investment for it to really take off. But he points particularly to the behavioural economics involved. I think one of the big issues with social investment is really a behavioural one. What hat do you put on when you look at this investment? People are used to investing for returns and people are used to wearing a philanthropy hat but, as yet, what people haven t really developed is an easy way of looking at a hybrid of the two, says Biddell. There are also philosophical debates that need to be had in open forums, such as Good Deals. For example, what role should pension funds and foundations take in their investments? Is their responsibility to invest for the highest possible financial return or do they have a responsibility to wider society and thus to measure returns by double or triple bottom lines? In thinking about the future needs of society, Biddell says large financial institutions like RBS and NatWest have the potential to play a hugely positive role. We have the distribution systems, we have a huge number of retail customers in the UK and we have the ability to access people s thinking and their finance and aggregate that finance into something that will enable problems to be dealt with on a much bigger scale than is possible with philanthropy. Our customers comprise pension funds, sovereigns and the man on the high street in Hackney. This is our role, to access that much larger market for civil society, and this is the proposition we are actively working on. The smart way to take on investment by Phil Hall, director of Not for Profit and Education, NatWest 1: Actually think about it. Too many charity trustees will not think about taking on debt. It is absolutely not right for everybody but the reality is most charities now have a trading arm. Do you need an overdraft to cover your cost of sales? Payment-by-results means Government contract costs will need to be born up-front by your organisation. How will you do that? Once you ve thought about investment check out if it s possible. Do your articles allow you to take on debt? They can t be changed over night and that can scupper deals. 2: Put investment into your planning. Fundraising to buy a building in three years? Why not borrow the bulk now when debt is unbelievably cheap and the building will cost less? We can build flexibility into the loan so that you pay chunks off as you fundraise and whatever you re left with we ll spread over a 10-year time frame. Most businesses will not do a proper worst-case scenario forecast. If council costs are being cut by 25 per cent and you have two contracts you need to forecast a 50 per cent drop in income not 25 per cent. Will you diversify? What time will that take to achieve? How will you cover costs in between contracts? A good banker will help. 3: Cash is king. More businesses go bust because they run out of cash than because they don t make enough profit. Lets say you pitch for a public sector contract, you make a profit but you expand too quickly and the day comes when you can t make payroll. You re profitable but you re also bust. It happens more often than you can believe. Listen to your finance director s warnings and talk to your banker early not when you ve already run out of cash. 4: Shop around. Social enterprises in particular will find it hard to get through to a generalist high street banker. Ask for a specialist (we re expanding our team) and concentrate on where the cash comes from, not what you do with the profits. To contact Phil Images: Happy Kitchen follows up investment leads following Good Deals 2009 Social Investment Case study Happy Kitchen Lisa Stockton is co-founder of Happy Kitchen. Working from a railway arch in Hackney, London, she and her colleagues create delicious, organic, fair trade cakes and other sweet goodies Happy Kitchen uses profits from the business to run programmes in schools teaching pupils and older students about the impact of the food chain on our environment and helping them grow their own food. And, like the other 99 per cent of the 238,000 people trying to start up a social venture in the UK*, Lisa s key source of funding to get going was private means. To date Lisa has relied on an interest-free loan from her family but that is about to change. Lisa is actively looking to take on social investment and in fact she s sorry that she didn t take it on earlier. Lisa made a pitch for investment at last years Good Deals social investment conference. She faced a 350-strong audience and a panel of expert investors who drilled into her pitch and her business. She walked away with serious interest from three investors, one a businessperson already in the food industry, one woman looking to build up a social investment portfolio, and one angel investor all three of whom have continued their conversations with her. At the time I didn t take on investment because I knew the business plan needed work. We were developing the products and moving into new premises, which we also rent out to other companies. I didn t think I had the time. Now I think that was possibly a mistake. It s imperative if a social enterprise wants to compete with other businesses, and make a lasting impact on the industry, it has to be of a certain size and that means taking on investment before competitors start copying your products. I believe it s really challenging but worth it. *Statistic from think-tank ResPublica 08 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 / 09

6 We endeavour to make sure that no community or neighbourhood is denied the access to the tools necessary for enterprise Turning disability into an asset Specialisterne Scotland is a new social enterprise, based on a successful Danish model, that creates specialist careers for people with autism spectrum disorder According to National Autistic Society Scotland (NAS Scotland) just 13 per cent of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are in full-time employment. This is despite them having a range of specialist skills, such as insight, precision and consistency, that could be used in sectors such as IT, telecoms and financial services. But this is about to change. Last August, John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government, announced that 700,000 would be invested in a new social enterprise, Specialisterne Scotland, aimed at creating up to 50 software-testing jobs for people with ASD. The enterprise is the first in the world to be modelled on Specialisterne Denmark, set-up by Thorkil Sonne in 2004 after his son was diagnosed with ASD (see interview, page 12). At the heart of the Specialisterne philosophy lies the idea that those with ASD can be equal contributors to the development of society. To achieve this it creates a supportive working environment for its employees, 75 per cent of whom in the Danish business have ASD, which enables them to make best use of their skills. The company now employs more than 50 people, who receive market-rate wages, with some public funding used to offset the cost of their additional training and support needs, and has a turnover of around 1.5m. The Danish business has three main business areas: business services where consultants with ASD solve valuable tasks for business customers on market terms; assessment services where staff assess and train the personal and professional skills of people with ASD who want to work in the business sector (the Danish local authorities pay for Specialisterne to assess candidates over a five-month program); and youth education the company educates young people with ASD in a three-year school programme funded by the local authority. In Scotland, Specialisterne Scotland s general manager, David Farrell-Shaw, will spend the next six months recruiting the first 12 potential trainees with autism. They will undergo a four-month training programme, which will include using Lego Mindstorm and robotics to identify and match their skills to work tasks. Once the trainees have been assessed, their working environment will be created with a high degree of planning, predictability, systemisation and minimal stress to ensure they are given the best chance to achieve their full potential. By 2015, Specialisterne Scotland expects to employ a total of 61 people, 50 of whom will have autism, and have a projected turnover of 1.6m. In the longer term the aim is for the majority of the workforce to be working at customer premises, assisting the competitiveness of Scottish businesses. The business has been developed over the past four years by Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEiS), a social enterprise support agency, in partnership with NAS Scotland and the Autism Resource Centre (ARC). CEiS was recommended to the Specialisterne Founder, Thorkil Sonne as a potential partner to assist the international roll-out of Specialisterne. CEiS has expertise in social enterprise replication, is viewed as a leading international social enterprise and also operates in the employability market in Image: People with ASD will be given the opportunity for specialist employment 10 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 /11

7 Interview with Thorkil Sonne, founder of Specialisterne Denmark Why did you set up Specialisterne? We wanted a future life for our son, who was diagnosed with ASD, where he could be respected for his special personality and skills but we saw no options other than sheltered work environments where he would be isolated. So my family supported my dream of trying to change society to respect and accommodate people who do not fit in. The company is not just for the benefit of our son it is to demonstrate to society the win-win benefits of regarding people with ASD as worthy and valuable citizens. What barriers did you face? The first barrier was to find a bank that would take the risk of supporting my dream. We did not have much luck, so we had to remortgage our home. Also there are not many incentives for social enterprises in Denmark. We also struggled to find our role within traditional disability and business cultures. However, we have since met a lot of open minds, especially in the business sector. Do you see parallels with Denmark in Scotland and how will your business model translate across? People with ASD are similar in Denmark and Scotland and so are the business needs. What is different is the welfare model and culture. Scotland does not give the same support to youth education as Denmark. As a result, Specialisterne Scotland will not include the youth education programme. What is Specialisterne s goal? Our goal is to demonstrate to society the value of employing and managing people with ASD on terms that help them excel. Scotland having supported 700 people into work in Analysis of the business model s performance has shown that it can deliver software testing tasks more effectively than a customer can for itself, at the same net cost, while releasing customer staff to carry out the more value-added tasks that they themselves find more fulfilling and that have a positive effect on staff retention, says Gerry Higgins, CEO CEiS. Gerry also added that Specialisterne and CEiS have a very productive relationship with RBS as the Community Banking Team has supported this venture from its inception. He hopes that in due course Specialisterne will have a new relationship with RBS and indeed others in the financial, telecoms and public sector as a potential service provider testing and improving systems and processes to improve their business while creating real social value. RBS, through its Community Banking arm, has also played a big role in the development of the company, as well as providing banking facilities to Specialisterne Scotland. The essence of what we do is to endeavour to make sure that no community or neighbourhood is denied the access to the tools necessary for enterprise, says director of community banking Eric Munro, who is a chair of CEiS and has played an integral role in the business plan and development of Specialisterne Scotland. The Community Banking team s remit is to work across the third sector, which we define as being made up of voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises. The team also works with SMEs from marginalised communities. This is, he says, an example of how, through RBS s strategic partnership with CEiS, the bank is helping to develop an initiative that supports people who struggle to access the labour market and get into employment. He says the bank does this for three main reasons: it is part of its wider supporting enterprise agenda; it involves the bank in local communities; and it is part of the bank s work in developing new markets and generating business. The investment in grant and loan from the Scottish Government s Scottish Investment Fund, brings total funding in the business to more than 1.1m following an award of 407,000 earlier this year by the Big Lottery and a further 30,000 from Glasgow City Council. If the Scottish enterprise is successful, founder Thorkil Sonne hopes to create up to one million jobs through his charity, The Specialist People Foundation, by replicating the model worldwide. We want companies and authorities to follow our example and work together with us to build bridges in the labour market for people who do not fit in such as people with ASD, he says. Tracking the growth of social enterprises In June this year the results of a new index mapping the growth of social enterprises were unveiled at an awards ceremony at the Gardening Museum in London Image: A scene from A Funny Old World one of the books developed especially for dementia sufferers by Pictures to Share, listed on the SE100 Index The SE100 Index, created by Social Enterprise magazine in partnership with RBS, is the first index to track the growth and impact of businesses delivering both social and financial returns. It is a market intelligence tool that captures key data and information about the growing number of social businesses. The results of the Index were unveiled by minister for civil society Nick Hurd, who said: The RBS SE100 is a hugely important tool for proving the success and potential of social enterprise. Already it shows phenomenal growth which will boost confidence in the sector. The event also saw the launch of the first SE100 awards, with prizes awarded for the social business with the highest growth, the best social impact reporting and the trailblazing newcomer. To enter the SE100 Index visit 12 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 /13

8 in numbers: The RBS SE100 Data Report 350 social businesses across the UK are listed on the index 78.63% is the average growth for the RBS SE100 top ,000,000 is the combined turnover of all businesses on the index 1,994,228 is the average turnover of the RBS SE100 top organisations scored 5/5 or 4/5 for their social impact reporting 86% of organisations have a public statement about their social impact The RBS SE100 is a hugely important tool for proving the success and potential of social enterprise. Nick Hurd, minister for civil society SE100 Growth Champion Mow & Grow Mow & Grow offers a unique gardening service that benefits elderly and vulnerable people, and those disadvantaged in the labour market and the community in general. The organisation targets individuals aged 16 years or over who find themselves without the qualifications, skills or motivation to find and hold down a job or simply without the resources to cope adequately with the challenges life throws at them. Agencies such as Connexions, the YMCA, Shaw Trust, JobCentrePlus, the police, probation service and local colleges, refer young people to Mow & Grow franchises across the country. The idea is that by embarking initially on a life skills course incorporated with on-the-job training in gardening and horticulture individuals will start to turn their life around. Chief executive Alex Cosgrove says: We engage people by offering them something they enjoy doing and offering recognised training and transferable qualifications and showing them they are valued. We have expanded our operations under the Grow Organisation umbrella to the building trades, hospitality, catering and cleaning. Each operation is a social enterprise in its own right delivering the same successful model as the original Mow & Grow. SE100 Impact Champion FRC Group FRC Group describes itself as a company that runs businesses that create profits and opportunities to change the lives of people in poverty and unemployment. The social businesses that make up FRC Group are the Furniture Resource Centre, which supplies brand new contract furniture to social landlords across the UK; and Bulky Bob s, a waste management business that collects, reuses and recycles furniture and appliances under contracts with local authorities. These businesses create social impact in a number of ways, from providing salaried training jobs and short-term work placements for long-term unemployed people, to providing essential furniture items to people in crisis situations who need basic furniture. One of the tools FRC Group uses to make sure that impact is communicated as effectively as possible is Social Return on Investment (SROI). Over the past four years FRC Group has carried out seven SROI studies of different distinct areas of its social impact. Verity Timmins, impact manager at FRC Group, says: A systematic commitment to impact measurement is better for our business, for our social impact and economic growth, and means ultimately, we can have more trainees in our businesses. SE100 Trailblazing Newcomer Create Foundation Create is a trailblazing social enterprise based in Leeds with a catering company, its own café and a pre-loved clothing boutique. Managing director Gary Stott says: We set up Create in order to provide meaningful activity, training and employment opportunities for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable. Create Food was the company s first enterprise and is staffed by people from vulnerable backgrounds. Soon after Café Create was established, offering employees front of house training. Following these successes, Found by Create, a boutique style charity shop, was opened in October 2009 in Leeds. Since September 2007 Create has trained 32 people in food hygiene, 18 in literacy and numeracy and 12 in money management skills. The social enterprise has created 35 full-time jobs for people who were vulnerable or at risk, and supplied an average of 50 meals each day to each of its FareShare members preventing around 20 tonnes of food each month from going to landfill. It is a combination of rapid but sustainable growth, effective social impact measurement and far reaching ambition that make this social enterprise a truly worthy trailblazer. 14 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 /15

9 Guest Column Collaborate to tackle the sharks by David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation Back in 2007, the National Housing Federation published a hard hitting report called Credit where credit s due. The study detailed the plight of more than two million people, predominantly from lower income backgrounds, who are forced to use doorstep lenders and illegal loan sharks for their credit. The report found the cost of this credit was typically anywhere between 200 and 2,000 per cent APR and 70 per cent of those accessing such credit lived in social housing. The report s author, the financial inclusion consultant Niall Alexander, called on the Federation to work regionally or even nationally with inclusive third sector lenders. He argued that a wide partnership could attract more substantial support from banks, which could be encouraged to provide low-cost financial facilities for tenants. We agreed with Niall s analysis. After the publication of the report, we began exploring the possibility of a pilot for an affordable credit scheme. The West Midlands was identified as the preferred location because of its high unemployment levels and high rates of financial exclusion. Three years on, in September 2010, an innovative scheme was launched at our national conference. My Home Finance offers low income borrowers an alternative to the exorbitantly expensive forms of credit otherwise available to them. The initial APR of a My Home Finance loan is just 29.9 per cent, contrasting sharply with the interest rates charged by doorstep lenders and illegal loan sharks. Niall s prediction that a partnership between third sector loan providers and the social housing sector could lever in substantial support from the banks was also correct. The RBS stepped forward to join 20 housing associations, the Department for Work and Pensions and Wates Giving (the charity arm of property company Wates) to deliver the scheme. The backing from RBS was particularly important because it provided capital funding and a credit line for loans but RBS is also looking to build a long-term relationship with the scheme. Through My Home Finance, RBS is not only fulfilling its social objectives, it s also reaching a market it would not normally have access to a set of potential customers it can help get back into the mainstream banking system. The first shop was opened in Hereford by local Mayor Anna Toon and myself. Over the next eight weeks a further nine shops were opened across the West Midlands. The branches are run by East Lancashire Moneyline, a leading provider of affordable credit to people unable to access mainstream financial services. My Home Finance has already helped hundreds of people, with customers being able to borrow relatively modest sums of typically around 500, repayable weekly, after face-to-face interviews. If the pilot is successful, My Home Finance will open branches across England and write up to 150,000 loans to people on lower incomes over the next 10 years. The launch of the scheme led to huge national media coverage, both print and broadcast. The extent of the coverage showed just how much interest there is across the country in new, innovative approaches to helping the financially excluded. Comment Business, but not as we know it by Eric Munro, director, RBS Community Banking The following challenging statement kicked off a recent conference I attended: Corporate Social Responsibility is dead. Giving money to charity, staff volunteering, painting the community centre all good things but peripheral to the business. They don t lead to the creation of new products and services, differentiate your brand, engage your people or achieve lasting social or environmental impact. The event, called Wavelength, was organised for people interested or engaged in what was dubbed corporate social innovation. It was organised by an outfit of the same name whose founders include Liam Black, the celebrated social entrepreneur and former director of Jamie Oliver s Fifteen. During a fast moving and interactive conference we heard from some of the world s best known brands. These included Unilever, Danone, Osram, Marks & Spencer, Novartis, Timpson and Vodafone. They were joined by some of the trailblazers from the social enterprise sector including The Wise Group, Divine Chocolate, Eden Project and Fair Finance. The presentations made by these organisations all shared a common theme: how to achieve social objectives through pursuing their core business goals. One of my personal highlights was a presentation given by James Timpson, managing director of Timpson, which owns a large retail network specialising in everything from photo processing, to key cutting and shoe repairs. James outlined the company s pioneering employment practices and specifically its recruit for attitude, train for skills ethos that led it to introduce an innovative training programme into the landings of prisons in London and Liverpool. The fully branded Timpson training centres offer opportunities to those often written off by society. While I do not subscribe in full to the notion that Corporate Social Responsibility is dead, the conference did instil a sense that there are endless possibilities to mainstream a commitment to social returns. For more information visit Contact Eric at The Future is bright by Duncan Sloan, head of RBS Community Banking It was the Czech economist Joseph Schumpeter who, back in the 1940s, wrote about what he described as the need for creative destruction to drive economies forward. He argued that periods of economic uncertainty bred innovation and transformation in business and commerce. While Schumpeter s views should not be used to gloss over the serious problems that the UK must overcome, entrepreneurs everywhere should take note. This period of economic uncertainty will no doubt inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to develop new ways of doing business. One of these is the rise of the social entrepreneur: people who develop and lead businesses whose aims and objectives are about delivering positive impacts on the wider world. I am interested in how my team at RBS can help contribute towards an environment in which social entrepreneurs can flourish. As part of our strategy we look to support initiatives that put these stories of social, environmental and economic change in front of new audiences. This is why we couldn t resist getting involved in the Future 100 Awards, which have been set up to celebrate the success of young social entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 years old. The awards programme is being run by an organisation called Striding Out, itself a social enterprise specialising in training and business support for young people. The Future 100 plays an important role in our strategy for two key reasons. First, they offer exposure to new business, which, of course, are at the very heart of what we all need to generate job and wealth creation. Second, it is important to us to support initiatives that support the work of younger people. These are people that will shape and transform the economy of tomorrow. In the next issue of Untold banking, we look forward to bringing you the stories of the award winners. You might get an insight into how the world will look in the not too distant future. The Future 100 awards were held in November at the British Library in London Contact Duncan at 16 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 /17

10 Q&A CICs in brief with Sara Burgess, the Community Interest Company Regulator In just four years, 4,000 businesses have registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC), a legal structure specifically for businesses working to deliver social impact. CICs are notable for what are known as asset locks and dividend caps, which limit what can be taken out of the businesses. The aim is to ensure any profits are ploughed back into the company to increase social returns for local communities How would you sum up a CIC? A CIC is a business, competing against other businesses. They re winning contracts and winning them not because they re a CIC, but because they re a business providing services better than their competitors. I m very happy to see them make a profit. It s what they do with that profit that separates them from other businesses. Why do we need another legal entity? Having its own legal structure gives these businesses credibility. For a long time, people who wanted to set up this kind of business could start a charity or an Industrial and Provident Society, but many wanted something different. People who start CICs don t want the restrictions of a charity, but identify with doing good with their profits. What has surprised you most since becoming the CIC Regulator? What still surprises me is the variety of CICs, from village shops to those making a change in education or unemployment. I love seeing the diversity too, like The Fold in Herefordshire, which was a farm, but is now a horticultural centre working with young and disabled people. What is the history and origin of the CIC movement? CICs are really much older than four years. Consultations started back in 2003 and it was agreed that a new structure was needed, although there was concern it would be competition for charities. CICs were designed to be more flexible, which is why many charities have now set up their own CIC and four have actually converted to a CIC. What are the current challenges facing CICs? Public perception is a challenge, although it s not stopping people setting up CICs. However, the more people that know about them, the more will use them. The main challenges for CICs are the same as any other business: surviving in this economy, getting credibility and finding the right niche market. How is the role of CICs changing in the face of the Big Society agenda? It s a platform for community involvement. If public bodies are going to be encouraged to devolve their services from central delivery, then the CIC model provides the kind of ringfence the public would have confidence in when it comes to the effective use of public funds. I anticipate more opportunities for CICs to deliver these kinds of services either individually or as part of a consortia. What can mainstream banks do to support CICs? They need to better understand what CICs are and why they operate in the way they do from the chief executive to the staff in local branches. And they need to speak directly to CICs in their brochures and on their websites. I also want them to offer specific support. CICs are looking for an account that isn t the standard small business one, but nor do they want the charity format. What are your hopes for the future of the CIC movement? It has already grown far more quickly than was anticipated and it is still growing in spite of the economy. In another five years, I think CICs will be well known as a credible and trustworthy way of running a business. I want to be able to stop anyone in the street and hear them talk about a CIC just as they would a charity or co-op. I also want to see CICs working together so their expertise is shared and new companies are able to be supported by those that have already been there. A CIC is a business with a legal structure that ensures it is working for the good of the community and not for private gain. Structure: company limited by guarantee, company limited by shares or PLC. A CIC can not also be a charity, but could be a separate trading arm of a charity. Maximum share dividend cap: 20 per cent of the paid-up value of a share for shares issued on or after 6 April 2010, or 5 per cent above the Bank of England base rate for shares issued before then. Dividend cap: 35 per cent of distributable profits. Tax breaks: No, but companies limited by shares could benefit from the Enterprise Investment Scheme. EXAMPLES OF CICs: Social Enterprise London, Bewdley Development Trust (pictured left), Culture And Sport Glasgow (pictured right), Gateway Family Services, Pathways Community Interest Company, Warm Wales Cymru Gynnes Images: Both the Bewdley Development Trust and Culture and Sport Glasgow opted to set up as CICs What made you smile this week? A fantastic photograph of my team left on my desk. They all look great and have beaming smiles. If you are a CIC and want to discuss your banking needs, contact the Charities and Not for Profit team at 18 / Autumn 2010 Untold banking Untold banking Autumn 2010 /19

11 Contact If you want to find out more about Community Banking at NatWest and RBS please get in touch.

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