Nesta announces first £2m of social enterprise investments
Care home events start-up and family current account provider amongst enterprises backed by innovation charity
Innovation charity Nesta has announced the first four companies set to benefit from £2m of investments from a new social enterprise investment fund.
Launched in October 2013, Nesta’s £25m fund seeks to invest in companies that aim to tackle the UK’s ‘biggest challenges’, including care for the elderly, education and financial exclusion.
The fund, which is backed by state-funded social investment bank Big Society Capital and social investor Omidyar Network, aims to capitalise on the growing social investment market, which Nesta claims is worth over £200m – set to grow to £1bn by 2016.
The market has been boosted recently by the introduction of tax relief for social enterprises, announced by the government in its 2013 Budget, which comes into force in April.
The first four companies backed by the new fund are:
- Oomph! (Our Organisation Makes People Happy): £200,000 invested. Social enterprise providing exercise classes and events to improve the quality of life of elderly adults in care homes.
- Ffrees Family Finance (pictured): £700,000 invested. A banking start-up offering a current account targeted at families that claims to help them ‘save as they spend’ by offering deals with commercial partners.
- Movellas: £175,000 invested. An online journal and fiction network aimed at improving literacy skills amongst teenagers.
- Sherston Software: £750,000 invested. A e-learning software start-up designed to make learning enjoyable for children.