The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has become the first PCC to invest in a social enterprise investment fund to address poverty and inequality, which are shown to reduce crime.

Social enterprises are organisations which reinvest their profits to create positive social change in the local community.  

David Jamieson has invested £100,000 into the Resonance West Midlands Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Fund, which invests in social enterprises enabling them to grow their impact, making a greater difference to the communities they serve.

A key objective of the fund is to tackle poverty and inequality across the region by investing in high impact, mission driven organisations.

The fund is managed by Resonance, a social impact investment company, who operate the West Midlands SITR Fund who also have successfully created a  similar fund based in the South West, and recently launched another in the North West.

The West Midlands SITR has raised over £1.5 million to date to invest into social enterprises, charities and community businesses, mainly from individuals. The fund is aiming to raise a total of £5m to invest in the region.

Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem, said:“The fund helps to reduce poverty across the region and will include a wide range of interventions including rehabilitation and support of ex-offenders.

“A condition of the £100,000 contribution to the fund, is it is invested in social enterprises that have a crime prevention objective. This can be through employment of ex-offenders or some other objective.”

The Jericho Foundation is one of the social enterprises which have received funding through the scheme.

Jericho have received a loan of £100,000 to help support local people to find employment, providing employment and training for those who are often held back by a wide range of barriers, such as homelessness, alcohol and substance misuse, a criminal record or mental health issues.

Richard Beard Chief Executive of the Jericho Foundation, added:The foundation supports people who face multiple and complex barriers to employment, training or social inclusion to become fulfilled, skilled and employed.

“It has a specific focus on the some of the poorest and most deprived areas.  The foundation provides a range of work experience, apprenticeships and individually tailored supported employment programmes through a range of income generating social enterprises. 

“The £100k loan through SITR has facilitated the growth of one of Jericho’s most successful social enterprises, the ReUsers, where second-hand items are restored and sold through Jericho’s two retail outlets.

“This has increased retail space by 25%, enabling an increase in product ranges available and increased productivity”.

Other recipients of the funds include Challenge Academy CIC who have received £150,000 and Wildgoose Rural Training who have had a loan of £85,000.

Grace England Investment Manager at Resonance, said “The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner have showed great innovation in becoming the first PCC to invest in a social impact SITR Fund, their investment will be used to help West Midland based high impact social enterprises, grow and make a bigger difference to some of the most deprived communities in the UK”

The loans are issued over a 6-8 year period. For the first three years, the loan is provided on an interest only basis and in year’s four to six/eight the capital of the loan will also be repaid. 

The PCC’s investment of £100,000 will be invested in at least 6 enterprises with no more than £25,000 will be invested in any one enterprise.

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