North West hosts first regional Commission on Social Investment launch, with Lord Adebowale CBE

North West hosts first regional Commission on Social Investment launch, with Lord Adebowale CBE

The North West has hosted the first in-person launch of ‘Reclaiming the Future: Reforming Social Investment for the Next Decade,’ the final report of the renowned Commission on Social Investment launched by Lord Adebowale CBE.

Delegates representing social businesses, investors and charities attended the event held in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter on 17th May, hosted by Social Enterprise UK, and supported by Liverpool City Council and Fusion21 which also funded the report.

Keynote speakers including Mayor Joanne Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool; Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of Social Enterprise UK; and Chris Murray, Chair of Fusion21, discussed the report’s findings and addressed how the social enterprise sector can work together to increase the scale of, and access to, investment for social businesses across Liverpool and the North West.

Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Chair of the Commission on Social Investment, said: “The North West is home to more well-established social enterprises compared to the national picture* and it has been a pleasure to hold our first regional event in Liverpool, a city that is committed to investing in and developing enterprise and business activity.

“The Commission’s final report focuses on how the social investment market can support the growth of social enterprises — from creating jobs and opportunities to strengthening local economic strategies and contributing to agendas like Levelling Up and Net Zero. It also highlights little development in the social investment market since 2011, and so we call for the government, social enterprises, social investors, and stakeholders to support a structural reform, implementing the report recommendations, so we are completely focused on the needs of social enterprises.”

Over the next decade, the Commission’s recommendations could support 5,000 social enterprises to grow, creating 180,000 jobs either directly or indirectly, with 36,000 jobs in the UK’s most deprived communities. These outcomes could add £3bn to the UK economy and inject over £600m into the poorest parts of the UK.

Chris Murray, Chair of Fusion21 and Commissioner of the Commission on Social Investment, commented: “Fusion21 has proudly supported the work of the Commission and the publication of this report after months of evidence gathering and engagement with over 300 social enterprises.

“We believe this now marks the beginning of a wider conversation about social investment, while highlighting a major opportunity for levelling up the UK with economic and jobs growth.”

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, a long-time champion of social enterprise added: “As a city that is passionate about social enterprise investment and tackling inequality, we welcome the report recommendations which have highlighted a current lack of UK-wide social investment in disadvantaged groups, such as Black-led social enterprises.

“The market needs to better respond, and this includes finding flexible sources of capital to provide workable investment to accelerate social enterprise growth. We hope this report will be the start of a new era, benefiting social enterprises based in Liverpool, the North West, and across the country.”

A full copy of the report can be read here:

* The State of Social Enterprise Survey 2019 (SOSE) was commissioned by Social Enterprise UK, in association with Santander. The report can be accessed here:

Header image: Regional Commission on Social Investment Launch, Left to right: Dave Neilson, Chief Executive at Fusion21, The Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, Erika Rushton, Creative Economist, Chris Murray, Chair of Fusion21 and The Fusion21 Foundation, Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Nick Temple, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business and Melaine Mills, Senior Director, Social Sector Engagement at Big Society Capital. 

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