New website will help co-ops and charities understand social investment

The Good Finance Project offers up-to-date content and case studies, a tool to assess social investment, and a directory of social investors and advisors

A new website and collaborative project has been set up to help charities, co-ops, social enterprises and community groups navigate the complex world of social investment.

A year of research and co-design has gone into the Good Finance website, which contains up-to-date content and case studies.

It also offers a tool to help users assess if social investment is right for them and the first ever directory of social investors and advisers.

These features are as a result of extensive research and user-focused design workshops with a wide range of charities and social enterprises across the UK.

Organisations told researchers that social investment is often confusing and complex to understand, with  too little information available about how and where to access it.

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Good Finance is funded by Big Society Capital, Access and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. There was support from key sector partners including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Social Enterprise UK, Locality, the creative agency Matter & Co, and the social investment organisation Flip Finance.

Kieran Whiteside, project manager for Good Finance, said: “While the social investment market has continued to grow, charities and social enterprises have often struggled to navigate this challenging and complex world.

“Our hope is that this new website will help charities and social enterprises feel empowered to make informed and educated investment decisions that are right for them.”

Nick Temple, deputy chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, added: “SEUK knows from its members that access to appropriate finance is one of the biggest barriers and enablers for social enterprise.

“We also know that the social investment landscape can sometimes feel fragmented, difficult to understand and difficult to access. That’s why we are delighted to be involved in Good Finance which has been designed with the users at its heart – and is also a genuine collaboration between key organisations.”

Sarah Wren, chief executive of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service, one of the charities that took part in the user-design workshops, added: “A few years ago we sought social investment to support a period of rapid expansion and growth.

“At that time it was really difficult to get sound advice about the range of options, and over the intervening years, the range of financial products and options has grown and become increasingly difficult to negotiate.

“We were delighted to help support Good Finance with a user-design project to create clear, simple resources and tools to help social businesses and charities find funding which works for them.”

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