The Social Investment Business & DoH unveils eight investment programmes for social enterprises

On the 16th October 2009 Third Sector Online reported that The Social Investment Business (formerly Futurebuilders) and the Department of Health have unveiled eight investment programmes aimed at social enterprises working in the health and social care sector.

The funds — offering  a range of grants or loans of up to £10m — are available under the DH’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund, now managed by The Social Investment Business.

The funds are generally aimed at helping social enterprises develop innovative services in health and social care and have been designed to cater for different types of social enterprises.

The SEIF Outreach Fund offers grants of up to £30,000 for organisations that are developing new products and services for those who are socially or geographically excluded.

The SEIF Growth Fund offers investment packages from £50,000 to £10m to existing organisations for working capital, buildings, staff or any other outlays incurred by social enterprises in their efforts to grow.

  1. Sarah Crawley Reply

    This is excellent news and helps us to develop some high growth businesses in the region. if anyone wants to discuss ideas for these please give us a shout!

  2. Ben Parkinson Reply

    Once again the government have missed the point of social enterprise, striping it with a health brush, when the idea of social enterprise is to maximise social impact, not try to “commercialise” existing social welfare.

    If indeed these health business are real social enterprises, what safeguards do we, as the public, have, that they are not run by the same money-grabbing bankers and stockbrokers that use their money to run everything else and are completely clueless about the concept of social enterprise’s focus on maximising social impact?

    Then, in terms of maximising social impact, when are the government going to start supporting social enterprises, which are about African development, rather than consider this work as “charitable”, restricting the sustainability opportunity of overseas projects? See the latest Comic Relief grants for details. It’s one twisted strategy for home and the opposite old-fashioned strategy for abroad.

    Despite this, tiny steps are better than no steps at all, but I really hope that their ideas to focus on health, don’t tarnish perception of social enterprise as a whole, making the public lose sight of its guiding objectives.

    • Alun Severn Reply

      Hello, Ben — I share some of your concerns/reservations about the drive to ‘externalise’ some health delivery as social enterprises and was having a related conversation with someone from The Young Foundation recently. They said that the YF isn’t interested in initiatives that merely ‘externalise’ health delivery — they want innovation, new delivery models *and* social impact in order to assure themselves that the SEs they support are ‘genuine’….

      This is slightly off at a tangent but I think it’s a signal that there are some concerns about the NHS perspective on social enterprise…

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