posted 29.08.2014

On 12th September 2014, Social Enterprise Network will once again turn the spotlight on social finance with this year?s much-anticipated conference: ?Capital with a Conscience: A Better Solution?? Social businesses, funders, social banks, and public and private enterprises keen to work ethically are invited to bring their best ideas to this meeting of minds, taking place at The Reader Organisation?s breathtaking Calderstones Mansion House.

The first event in the series took place a year ago, and asked the crucial question: ?does social finance truly understand social need?? After an intense day of debating and exchanging experiences, attendees and speakers alike came to the conclusion that no, it did not. In fact, it seemed like finance models designed to help the Social Enterprise sector were actually creating another, equally complex set of barriers.

So now, entrepreneurs and experts will reconvene to take the issue forward, and ask if over the last twelve months, investment models have progressed to reflect the sector?s diverse needs. Featuring talks, lively debates, panel discussions, workshops and a ?marketplace? of investors, the day is aimed at all participants in social enterprise and social finance, whether they are newcomers or old-timers. The agenda will cover everything from the future of funding in the current economic climate, to practical advice for first-timers on securing social finance, as well as exploring the burgeoning relationship between social finance and the public sector.

Speakers will include Robbie Davison of Can Cook, and Helen Heap of Seebohm Hill, who both have progressive ideas around what social lenders should really be doing. Robbie is the Director of Can Cook, a social enterprise which tackles food poverty, and he has first-hand experience of receiving social finance. He also authored a ground-breaking paper on which the first conference was based, calling for a radical re-structuring of the relationship between investors and recipients. Helen is an experienced social investment analyst, and with Robbie, has put forward the new ?Builder Capital? model, with a view to providing community-based social enterprises with the long-term support they need.

Says Helen - ?Robbie and I felt so passionately that something needed to change when it came to providing appropriate funding for social enterprises that we wrote a book about it! We are now working to move the Builder Capital model from drawing board to reality. We look forward to exchanging ideas at ?Capital with a Conscience? ? A Better Solution? as to how providing the right sort of money at the right time  for a social enterprise with a suitable trading model  can transform its effectiveness, both in creating social impact and its viability as a business.?

Confirmed organisations include Key Fund, who have provided finance to over 2000 organisations and are a social enterprise themselves, and Big Issue Invest, who have recently developed new funds for the sector. More are still to be announced.

Lunch, refreshments and challenging ideas are all included in the price of your £10 ticket. If you would like to take a stall in the marketplace, please email To book tickets, click this link or search Eventbrite for ?Capital with a Conscience: A Better Solution?? For more information, email or call 0151 237 2664.

This event is officially sponsored by SENTogether, The Reader Organisation and Key Fund.

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