The social investment wholesaler’s annual review says this is an increase of £600m on the previous year

Big Society Capital made £1.7bn available for charities and social enterprises in 2018, an increase of 50 per cent on the year before.

The total of £1.7bn is the highest in the organisation’s history and a £600m increase on the £1.1bn available in 2017.

In its annual review for 2018, published yesterday, the social investment wholesaler said it had made £90m of new funding commitments over the course of the year.

BSC has committed £1bn in social finance since it was set up in 2012, £276m from its own funds and the remainder from co-investors.

The review shows that Big Society Capital made a loss of £6.5m in 2018.

Last year’s annual review, which covered 2017, showed a net profit of £800,000, which was Big Society’s first surplus since it was established.

BSC said that more than 1,100 organisations had accessed repayable finance through Big Society Capital’s fund managers or through Charity Bank.

It said 73 per cent of the social enterprises and charities that accessed repayable finance from the organisation were in the most deprived half of the UK, and 83 per cent were operating outside London.

Earlier this week, Labour’s civil society strategysaid the party would review the role of Big Society Capital to ensure money was reaching the country’s poorest communities.

Cliff Prior, chief executive of Big Society Capital, said: “Throughout 2018, we accelerated our efforts to create change in our three key themes of homes, places and early action, while also developing a strong pipeline of investments.

“As a result, our strategy of focusing on areas where we believe social investment can have the greatest impact began to bear fruit, with initial investments in the theme areas, as well as building partnerships, knowledge and opportunities, enabling us to deliver more in 2019.

Prior said that although the £6.5m deficit was “typical” for an organisation that was as new as Big Society Capital, the long-term aim was to generate positive financial returns and social impact while covering its operational and market-building costs.

Source: Third Sector