The Investment Team’s 2020

Anny Ma

Communications Officer

12th January 2021



Our UnLtd Investment offering is for social enterprises ready to grow their impact and organisation, specifically ventures in England creating opportunities for employment. Our social investment team delivers investment, grants, and dedicated support from a Portfolio Manager.

This year presented many challenges to our Investment team and our ventures, and the communities being supported. In March, we offered more flexibility to our ventures, including a six-month repayment freeze and fund extension for the entire investment portfolio. Thanks to the Access Foundation, we were also able to offer grant funding support to several Impact Fund ventures in the summer of 2020.

We also asked Thirty Percy, one of the Thrive A2E partners, to convert some of their investment into grants for Thrive A2E graduates. Thirty Percy agreed, and the money was quickly distributed to enable the ventures to continue to support people into work. The ventures who received this emergency grant are:

  • AALFY – Zak Ahmed
  • Lily’s Social Kitchen – Zoe Rodda
  • The Right Key – Sheila Smyth
  • The Articulate Hub – Eona Craig
  • Working for Health – Ricky Newton
  • Transform Lives Company – Tracy Fishwick
  • Radiant Cleaners – Matt Parfitt
  • Offploy – Jacob Hill
  • Fat Macy’s – Meg Doherty
  • Reform Radio- Rachel Roger
  • Built By Us – Dana Walker
  • Cracked It – Josh Babarinde
  • Furniture Bank – Will Mansell

Key challenges for the year included: female founder-led and BAME-led ventures at the highest risk of defaulting, the need to digitise ventures, preventing burnout, pivoting business models, legally advice, sales strategy, and business planning. Our investment team provided our portfolio with support in these areas, while also helping to secure other grants and funding opportunities.

2020 in statistics:

  • Approved £2,363,650 in blended grant and loan finance through the Impact Fund (2018-2020)
  • Approved £455,000 in debt and equity finance through the Thrive Fund (2018-2020)
  • 24 ventures in our Impact Fund portfolio and 13 in the Thrive Fund portfolio
  • 52% of our portfolio who were not focussed on digital, have now pivoted to digital
  • BAME-led social ventures represent 31% of the investment portfolio
  • Out of our portfolio, 50% of the business models have pivoted to a new way or working, 40% have proceeded with their old way, 5% have piloted new project and 5% have paused completely

Are you interested in Social Investment? Learn more about our Impact Fund here, or use the free Good Finance diagnostic tool to see if it is right for you.

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