Investing in NESTA’s excellent Big Society Finance Fund has stimulated our interest in what Sir Ronald Cohen and Nick O’Donohoe (the governments Big Society Bank’s advisors) would come back with as a proposal for the Big Society Bank. So it was with great interest that we read todays outline proposal, released along with a supporting letter from Frances Maude. And support it he might.
If, like us, you want to see those who strive to affect positive social change having genuine access to capital, then I encourage you to wholeheartedly support this proposal.
Of course, there are tricky blanks to fill in: How to implement the necessarily-complex structure without creating a risk-adverse culture? How to harness the Merlin money as fuel ignited in the Big Society Banks engines, rather than as fuel ignited on its core purpose? How much capital attrition to allow in the early years, and how to win the argument about the need for this attrition?
If current progress is anything to go by, those who are putting this (what mercifully isn’t going to be a bank) together are up to these challenges. Congratulations to all involved.