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Social Investment

Why is the Trust involved in social investment?

As with many charitable trusts, the Barrow Cadbury Trust has traditionally used its endowment to invest in mainstream investments, albeit with an ethical dimension, and has used the income generated to fund our work. In 2010 the trustees decided to use part of the endowment to further the aims of the Trust through investments in charities and social enterprises, aiming to achieve both a social and a financial return with the funds. Since 2010 Barrow Cadbury Trust has allocated £5.7 million to 29 different social investment.

What is our approach to social investment?

We aim to both develop the social investment market and promote social justice through our social investments.  In developing the market we promote our values, including sharing our expertise in areas such as measuring social impact.

Our aim is to be supportive and collaborative from initial contact to the repayment of any investment, ensuring that the investment meets the needs of the investee organisation and leaves it in a sustainable financial position.

 Connect Fund

The Connect Fund was set up in June 2017 to strengthen the infrastructure of the social investment market in England to better meet the needs of charities and social enterprises. It wound down in May 2024. Find out about The Connect Fund.

Kumar Ghosh, our Social Investment Manager, talks about Barrow Cadbury’s
approach to social investments

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are our areas of interest? 

    The Trust will consider investments reflecting the social justice aims of the charity and our interests: 

    • Criminal justice 
    • Gender justice 
    • Racial justice 
    • Economic justice 


    We will make social investments which: 

    • Provide clear evidence of social impact 
    • Provide risk capital to test new models of investment and working, often to organisations which find it difficult to raise the risk capital elsewhere 
    • Catalyse present and future investment 


    If an investment is in a local or regional project, we are more likely to invest if it is based in or around Birmingham. 

    We recognise that social investment is not always the most suitable solution, but could be one of several financing options.   

    The Trust works with other social investors to share learning and knowledge. 

  • What return is Barrow Cadbury Trust looking for?

    The financial return will depend on the risk and level of social impact.

  • Will Barrow Cadbury Trust invest in non-charitable companies?

    Yes, provided that: the social mission of the non-charitable company is in line with our aims and any private benefit arising from the investment is necessary, reasonable and in our interests.

  • How much will Barrow Cadbury Trust invest?

    We will usually invest between £50,000 and £250,000.

  • When would we want our investment back?

    We recognise that charities and social enterprises often need patient and flexible finance and we will discuss the terms of the investment with the potential investee on an individual basis. We will expect to hold a balance of short and longer term investments within the portfolio. 

  • How to apply

    If you think that your investment fits the criteria above send a summary of the  proposal to Kumar Ghosh, Social Investment Manager.  This should be a maximum of two pages and cover the following information: 

    • Brief details about your organisation 
    • How the investment will be used 
    • How much investment you are looking for 
    • How the project generates income 
    • Details of the social impact  

    We will then contact you about next steps. 

    Take a look at Barrow Cadbury Trust’s current social investment portfolio