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Pathway Fund Statement on Dormant Assets

Pathway Fund welcomes news that the U.K. government continues to harness the Dormant Assets Fund to develop the U.K. social impact space. The announcement of a further £880M investment and a focus on harnessing social investment is encouraging and needed.

We are proud to work with communities up and down the country; to work with the government, Big Society Capital, Access - The Foundation for Social Improvement, Social Enterprise UK and others, to develop a social investment space that is accessible for all, particularly black and minoritised communities.

The Dormant Assets Fund has the potential to:

Create significant economic value to communities across the country, particularly disadvantaged and deprived communities

The Adebowale Commission estimated that a reformed social investment market could support 5,000 social enterprises, supporting 180,000 jobs, tens of thousands of which would be in our most deprived communities and contribute £3bn to the UK economy, including £1bn in additional taxes to the Exchequer. It is great to see some of the recommendations of the Adebowale Commission move forward.

Tackle racial inequality

Social enterprises are more likely to be led by people from a minority ethnic group than other small businesses (14% v 6% for small businesses). Through the creation of a black-led social investment fund and reforms to the social investment market, we could support over 800 black and minoritised-led social enterprises.

Help rebalance and level up the UK economy

Social enterprises are more likely to be working in deprived communities than other forms of business. One in five (22%) of social enterprises work in the most disadvantaged areas (as measured by the Index of Multiple Deprivation – one form of measuring disadvantage). Investment in social enterprises is more likely to reach those that have traditionally found it harder to access support. They are also more likely to employ people from disadvantaged backgrounds than other forms of business.

Create additional social, economic and environmental value

Social enterprises create disproportionately more of their jobs in deprived communities, with over 30% of all jobs created in the most deprived areas (600,000 jobs). Not only does seeking to employ people from these backgrounds help improve their financial situation, it also generates benefits to mental wellbeing and physical health. By investing in those furthest from the labour market, social enterprises help to create stronger and more resilient local economies. The evidence base for this is strong. A 2019 New Economics Foundation cost-benefit analysis found that a £60,000 investment into social enterprises creating inclusive employment yielded £1.75m in social value to the economy.

When done right, social investment support through dormant assets can generate significant positive impact for society.

We see the Community Enterprise Growth Plan as a key to building the Dormant Asset approach and rapidly accelerating social investment over the next 10 years. Our hope is that this work will continue and deliver impact and value for all communities.

On behalf of the Pathway Fund

Project Director, Dilys Winterkorn - Pathway Fund

Co-founder, Bonnie Chiu - The Social Investment Consultancy

Co-founder, Kunle Olulode - Voice4Change England

Co-founder, Stephen Bediako - Black Global Trust


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