Social Investment – Our Portfolio

What are the Trust’s areas of interest?

We aim to hold a mixed portfolio and are unlikely to make a number of investments of a similar nature. Read about Barrow Cadbury Trust’s current social investment portfolio.

The Trust will consider investments which further the aims of the charity to promote social justice, in particular, but not exclusively, in line with the following interests of the Trust:

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

In particular Barrow Cadbury Trust will make social investments which:

  • Drive up beneficial 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 funding
  • Support the development of social investment infrastructure through the Connect Fund.

Where the investment is in a local project we are more likely to invest if it is based in or around Birmingham.

The Trust recognises that social investment is not always the most suitable solution, but is one of a range of financing options.  One of our aims is to contribute towards building a social investment ‘narrative’ which helps social sector organisations assess the suitability or otherwise of social investment to their particular needs.

The Trust actively works with other social investor networks to share learning and knowledge.

What return is Barrow Cadbury Trust looking for?

We aim to recycle our funds and to recover our financial investments together with a financial return, as well as secure a clear and measurable social return.  Barrow Cadbury Trust does recognise that social investments may attract a lower financial return than financial investments for the equivalent risk, but we believe this will be compensated for by the social return.

Will Barrow Cadbury Trust invest in non-charitable companies?

We will only make an investment in a non-charitable company in the following circumstances:

  • The social mission of the non-charitable company is in line with the aims of the Trust.
  • Any private benefit arising from the investment is necessary, reasonable and in the interests of the Trust.
  • Any private benefit is not excessive and the investment is clearly for the public benefit.
  • Where there is the opportunity for considerable financial gain by the company then the Trust will benefit from that gain (e.g. by holding an equity stake rather than advancing a loan).

How much will Barrow Cadbury Trust invest?

Our usual range for social investments is between £50,000 and £250,000 in any one ‘product’.

When would we want our investment back?

We do want to recycle our funds so we will consider how our money will be repaid before entering into the investment.  The lack of a secondary market for social investments means that it is often not possible to sell the investment so we would expect the terms of investment to set out how the investment would be repaid.  Within the overall portfolio we will expect to hold a balance of short and longer term investments – in practice our current investments have a repayment period of between 3 and 10 years.

How to apply

If you think that your investment fits the criteria outlined above then please send a summary of the investment proposal to Mark O’Kelly, Director of Finance and Administration.  This should be a maximum of two pages and should cover the following information:

Details of your organisation

  • Type of investment
  • Amount of investment (both the total you are looking for and the amount you are asking BCT to invest)
  • Length of investment and how it will be repaid
  • Financial return
  • How the investment will be used
  • Details of the social return
  • How the social return will be measured and reported on

We will then assess these details and contact you for further information should we wish to proceed to a further stage.