CoLab Exeter, POP+, and Torbay Community Development Trust have come together with the Barrow Cadbury Trust and Access Foundation to form a new project called SIMPL – Social Investment Marketplace Links.
This year-long programme will bring together investors, commissioners and service providers to explore ways that social investment could transform the delivery, sustainability and social impact of services across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.
The project will:
- Engage commissioners, build their skills and knowledge making them less risk-averse to social investment finance and better able to use combined data – a commissioners’ summit will be held to bring common themes together and share learning;
- Engage VCSEs, building their skills and knowledge, offering training and resources in relation to social investment;
- Emerging social entrepreneurs and VCSEs will be supported through training, one-to-one support and networking;
- Work with South West Academic Health Science Network (SWAHSN) and Resonance Social Investment Funds to develop sub-regional investment strategies and support for creating social economy responses to social and community challenges (ageing, housing etc.);
- Develop a joint web platform using separate SWAHSN funds to host tools and resources and provide brokerage for partnerships and collaborations.
The SIMPL stewardship group of voluntary sector infrastructure organisations anticipate a range of shared impacts, which include:
- Provider markets become more diverse in the local commissioning space.
- VCSEs develop a greater understanding of opportunities for social investment and adapt their business models.
- New social businesses have more entry points to local markets, are better connected to build collaboration and to share learning and support.
- Commissioners have better knowledge, awareness and understanding of the role of social investment leading to better outcomes.
- Investors better understand market needs, adapting models and products through dialogue with providers and commissioners.
- A more diverse range of products are created.
- Learning emerges locally to inform all actors within the social marketplace. Learning is evaluated and shared widely.
- Community infrastructure (both VCSE sector support and social enterprise networks) are strengthened and recognised by all actors within the social marketplace as pro-active brokers to respond to social need.
A detailed information sheet from the launch event is available here.