Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) has published its 2020 Impact Report, ‘Resilience and opportunity in a time of uncertainty’. The report highlights the firm’s strong growth as it responded to organisations seeking finance during the COVID-19 pandemic. SASC approved £43.8m of new investments for 14 organisations during 2020. Since 2014, SASC has made 63 investments totalling £135.1m.
Some key achievements in 2020 included securing investment into SASC from Zamo Capital, the acquisition of Leapfrog Bridge Finance, and completing the latest round of fundraising for our Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) fund, which brings the total raised to over £60m.
SASH was launched in 2019. It is the only fund that specialises in providing finance for front-line charities which allows them to buy properties to house vulnerable groups, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homelessness. Investment activity continued to build in 2020. Eight organisations have received funding to date, with a further three expected to follow in the coming weeks.
SASC’s other funds were also active in 2020. New investments supported charities including Affinity Trust and Brook to deliver additional services in Gloucestershire and Cornwall, respectively; and Active Prospects to buy and renovate a property for adults with learning difficulties in West Sussex.
SASC’s commitment to community renewables continued in 2020. Acquiring Leapfrog Bridge Finance (now called SASC Bridge Finance) from Pure Leapfrog will allow it to build on its combined £60m of investment experience in the sector.
SASC also boosted its expertise in key areas, including housing and renewables: it welcomed four new Board members and two new members to the Investment Committee.
Many of the SASC portfolio organisations provide critical front-line support and services to economically and socially disadvantaged individuals and communities. In the past, this work relied mainly on regular and frequent face to face contact with clients, many of whom are vulnerable.
The onset of the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns forced our borrowers to re-think their working practices. CEOs from across the SASC portfolio have told us how their organisations set about meeting the challenges of COVID-19.
Mark Simms, CEO of P3 reflects on his organisation’s journey over the past five years and on how investment from SASC will enable the charity to take control of its housing needs in the future. Other insights are provided by Caroline East, CEO, Child Dynamix; Nick Miller, CEO, Storeroom2010; Lj Winterburn, CEO, Valley House; Susan Aktemel, Director, Homes for Good Glasgow; Shaun Needham, CEO, Target Housing and Jake Burnyeat Director, Community for Renewables (CfR).
Ben Rick, Co-founder and CEO of SASC said, “Like all organisations, SASC experienced challenges over the last 12 months and, like everyone else, we had to work harder. But the pandemic has made the housing fund we launched 18 months ago even more relevant. The result is that in 2020 we were able to support more organisations than in any previous year.
“Our work with charities and social enterprises working on the front line of the pandemic has been highly rewarding throughout this period, and the dedication, resilience and pragmatism displayed by our borrower organisations has been nothing short of inspirational.
“We’re more focussed than ever on showing how effective a sustainable, impact-led social investment market can be. We look forward to continuing our journey in 2021, supporting many more organisations to help the vulnerable people they work with.”
For more information on SASC visit www.socialandsustainable.com