E3M Event: Financing social enterprise innovation in public services

This one-day E3M seminar is for leaders of commercial social enterprises and senior staff in public authorities, who want to learn about opportunities for financing innovative new approaches to public services provision. It will have a particular focus on new, place-based approaches to solving local challenges.

Based on the experience of E3M members and other similar social enterprises, the event will seek to explore solutions that can be more than just unsecured debt or contract finance, and where social investment can be really game changing.


10.00 Introduction: perspectives on needs

Commissioners’ and Social Enterprise Leaders’ Perspectives

10.15 A framework for financing social innovation

  • Income generation
  • Capital Financing
  • Risk
  • Impact

Experts from E3M partners BWB and Numbers for Good will present a framework for understanding how funding, both in income and in capital terms, can support social enterprise growth and service innovation.

10.45 Funds for Growth

How are social enterprises using finance to achieve growth? This session will focus on the issues of underlying capitalisation, risk-sharing and larger investments in investible entities. Participants will also hear from social finance providers about some of the new funds on offer.

11.45 Break

12.00 Property Finance

This session will explore approaches to the ways investment and income generation can support the acquisition of property, which can underpin growth and facilitate the development of innovative services. It will explore the approaches developed by pioneering social enterprises in this field and the way community assets can support growth.

13.00 Lunch

13.30 Crowdfunding and Community Engagement

How can crowdfunding harness the power of communities to support the development of new initiatives, as fund providers, but also as participants and customers?

14.30 Outcomes Based Commissioning

This session will examine how funding for outcomes-based contracts is working, and the different ways of structuring income and investment in this area. It will review the learning from payment by results contracts, social impact bonds and other approaches to securing funding for innovation that have been developed. It will be of particular interest to anyone seeking finance under the next round of the £80M Life Chances Fund, but of much wider application as well.

15.30 Break

16.00 Funding innovation – blended solutions

There is increasing recognition that a blend of grants, alongside debt and equity is important for smaller and start-up social enterprises, but there is also a case for blended finance for larger social enterprises that are innovating with the development of new solutions. How does this kind of approach apply to place?

16.45 Changing the game: priorities for the future

There is still a lot of scepticism about whether social investment really meets the needs for social enterprises to grow and reach their full potential. The event will end with a panel discussion exploring where the sector needs to go next to push the boundaries of social investment for it to become a more useful tool for social change than it currently is.

17.30 End

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