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Impact angel network takes wing in UK parliament
In fiscally constrained times, social enterprise offers a market-based solution to creating positive change. By leveraging capital from socially aware investors, we hope to provide social businesses and enterprises with the support they need to grow.Rod Schwartz
Ambitious plans to link socially aware investors to great social businesses were launched in the UK this week in the form of a new 'impact angel network'.
Clearly Social Angels, launched in the House of Commons, aims to 'dramatically increase the flow of capital into businesses creating positive social impact'.
Rodney Schwartz, CEO of parent organisation ClearlySo, commented: 'In fiscally constrained times, social enterprise offers a market-based solution to creating positive change. By leveraging capital from socially aware investors, we hope to provide social businesses and enterprises with the support they need to grow.'
Gathering together socially aware investors and giving them great social businesses to invest in is not a new idea, even in the UK. Social investment intermediary Equity Plus launched its own 'Social Enterprise Angel Network' back in 2008 – and its founding partners have been quietly linking 'secret millionaire' types with social enterprises for a while. ClearlySo itself has been doing the same in partnership with Coutts and others, and our own social investment conference, Good Deals, is based upon bringing social investors and social entrepreneurs together.
What does seem new is that Clearly Social Angels is injecting some fresh energy and providing a structure for capturing socially minded investors and forward thinking philanthropists – and offering them ready made deals. They get screened businesses, access to deal-flow, angel training and exclusive investment events. Unlike previous approaches, which have mainly been about bespoke deals with relatively intense brokerage and relationship management, this feels perhaps more like a boutique investment dating service backed up with great matching software.