Last week wealth manager UBS and social investment specialist Resonance announced the creation of a new Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) fund. This milestone moment offers a potentially exciting new way for philanthropists to invest in charities and social enterprises in the UK.
The first SITR fund will launch in Bristol later this year, and takes advantage of the new tax relief measures for investment in social enterprises launched by the Chancellor in April 2014. The fund will provide social enterprises tackling issues of inner city poverty using the tax relief to structure loans that lower the cost of capital for the social enterprises, and simultaneously reduces the risk for individual investors through the 30% tax relief they can claim up front.
The first fund will assist up to two dozen Bristol-based social enterprises in areas such as job creation, skills development, debt reduction and support, health and well being, improving access to affordable accommodation and reducing the cost of living. SITR loans will be aimed at helping social enterprises to scale up their activities and affect real positive impact.
The SITR fund was piloted by a group of Resonance’s angel investors who invested in a couple of social enterprises including the first ever SITR deal, FairShare Southwest, a charity diverting food waste to vulnerable people in the city. Investment in FairShare Southwest has allowed the charity to scale up its catering arm and create jobs and work experience opportunities for vulnerable people who were previously unable to work.
Resonance with the assistance of UBS plan to grow in excess of £30m of SITR funds in six to eight cities across the UK over the next two-three years.