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Around the World in TBED

February 12, 2014

UK Moves to Support Growing Social Innovation Sector
The United Kingdom (UK) recently announced that it will petition the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, for permission to increase the size of tax relief for social investments that address significant social issues. The proposed plan would:

  • Expand the options for indirect investment in social enterprises;
  • Establish a government-run accreditation scheme for Social Impact Bonds eligible for social investment tax relief; and, 
  • Make changes to community interest companies’ regulations to promote the strategy to investors and social enterprises.

The proposed changes could spur up to £500 million (approximately $829.8 million USD) in social impact investments over the next five years. Read the announcement…

These changes were among several recommendations from the Social Investment Roadmap. The government commissioned report outlined a process to further transform the UK into a global leader in social innovation and entrepreneurship. The proposed changes are the latest in a series of steps that the UK government has undertaken since David Cameron became prime minster – including the launch of Big Society Capital in 2012.

Big Society Capital is a national social investment bank that makes impact investment across a spectrum of industries including investments to socially driven science and technology companies. Via NESTA’s Impact Investment Fund, Big Society will commit £8 million (approximately $13.3 million USD) fund that provides risk capital to organizations that are addressing some of the UK’s most pressing challenges using technology and innovation. With the backing of other funding sources, NESTA intends to invest £25 million (approximately $41.5 million USD).

Social innovation has remained at the center of Cameron‘s economic prosperity strategy for the UK’s Innovation Economy.  Through StartUp Britain, the Cameron government proposed multiple initiatives that would increase entrepreneurship and innovation that not only increased economic prosperity, but worked to address social issues and spur innovation that would reduce the size and scope of the government. 

U.S. Universities Announce New Programs to Spur Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Georgetown University and Portland State University recently announced new initiatives to promote innovation that will address social issues. These universities join a growing number of institutions of higher education that are working to grow domestic social innovation, train a generation of social entrepreneurship and spur social impact investing. As Millennials increasingly stand at the frontlines of social innovation, universities will provide an essential function by preparing them to achieve their goals. This is especially important for STEM graduates that want to use their expertise for the social good.

Made possible by a $10 million donation from Olga and Alberto Beeck, Georgetown University announced the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation, a new center to promote collaboration among students, faculty and the private sector to foster innovation and provide a unique skill set to generate concrete, solution-based social change. The Beeck Center will provide training and a state-of-the-art laboratory to test new ideas and methods from students hoping to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. The center will be open to students and faculty from all disciplines including STEM areas. Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business also recently received a $100,000 grant from the Case Foundation to explore opportunities to increase social impact investing.  Read the announcement...

Portland State University (PSU) announced its latest social innovation initiative – an online certificate program in social innovation. Housed within Impact Entrepreneurs at Portland State University program, the online certificate will help both students and non-students across the world develop a set of skills designed to enable to launch, lead or manage a high-impact social change initiatives. The course is open to all undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines for academic. It is comprised of online courses, peer mentoring and personalized instructor feedback. Courses will cover design thinking, lean entrepreneurship, legal fundamentals, fund raising, storytelling and impact measurement.  Upon completion of the program, students and non-students also will have access to the PSU social incubator program.  

District Of Columbia, Oregon, Internationalinternational, higher ed