Over 40 businesses attended an investment event held in Coventry which highlighted the benefits of social funding.

The event was the first of its kind organised in the Midlands by the Community Impact Partnership (CIP) and was held at the Priory Visitor Centre, a social enterprise which focuses on history, tourism, community, education and health/wellbeing.

The Community Impact Partnership (CIP) has been set up between Clarion Housing Group, L&Q, Orbit and the Peabody Group to offer unsecured loans of between £25,000 and £150,000 to social enterprises and charities achieving positive social and economic impact in communities served by the four partners.  Alongside this we can provide wider support such as financial and business planning, legal and procurement advice.

The CIP is the first joint venture of its kind in the UK housing sector and launched the social investment fund to boost communities and support local regeneration. This first £3m fund is supported by the Growth Fund which is managed by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital.

Throughout the day, there were talks by existing social enterprises and representatives of the CIP as well as the chance to ask questions and networking opportunities. Lunch was provided by Coventry social enterprise, Mum’s Kitchen.

Penny Hembrow, Chair of the Community Impact Partnership, explained:  “All four housing groups involved in this partnership already provide £30m worth of community investment through grants and services to support the communities they serve.  But by coming together, through the Community Impact Partnership, they can now provide a new form of finance to help those communities even further.

“Our vision is to provide finance to those enterprises with a social mission who plan to take their businesses to the next level.  We want to provide the right finance and support at the right time as organisations grow and move to their next stage.”

“With Coventry holding Social Enterprise City status and with the City of Culture coming in 2021 we were really keen to play an active role in supporting this part of the enterprise and business sector, to help them deliver more of the great services they already provide.”

Further information about the CIP is available from www.communityimpactpartnership.co.uk.