Social investment

The Trust is uniquely positioned with links to the private sector, in particular the City & financial industry; the public sector through the City of London Corporation; and charity sector through the grants we have awarded. We are seeking to make use of this position through our work in the field of Social Investment, which takes traditional finance models, such as loans and bonds, to produce both a financial and social return. In direct contrast to grants, social investment is repayable finance, so requires organisations to have a source of revenue generation that allows for the repayment of some or all of the capital with or without interest.

Our first Social Investment, back in 2010, was in the Allia East London Bond, with £100,000 provided as an interest-free sum for a 5 year period. This £20m fund was used to provide much-needed quality affordable social housing, whilst also generating funding for community regeneration centres the Bromley by Bow Centre and Community Links.

Building on this, the City of London has established a £20m Social Investment Fund, overseen by a Social Investment Board and managed by City Bridge Trust.

More recently, the Trust established the Stepping Stones Fund, a unique social investment readiness facility for charitable organisations in Greater London. This provides grant funding to organisations looking to take on repayable finance in the future.