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The first bonds under disability charity Scope’s £20 million social investment programme have been issued following the programme’s listing on the Euro MTF Stock Exchange Luxembourg last year.

Scope became one of the first UK charities to enter the capital markets when it launched its social investment bond programme in 2011, developed in partnership with Investing for Good. It has now closed its first £2 million issue following interest from a broad range of investors attracted by the bonds’ combination of financial returns coupled with social returns delivered through the charity’s work with disabled people.

Investors in the bonds include Rathbones, NESTA, Esmée Fairbairn and Panahpur demonstrating an appetite amongst investors to invest in professionally constructed products that support charities and diversify their investment portfolios.

The £2 million issue will be used by Scope to invest in its income generation activities, including fundraising programmes to grow its supporter base and expand its network of charity shops, both of which generate long-term sources of income to support its work with disabled people.

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope, said: “The response to the Scope bond programme has been unprecedented and demonstrates that there are investors out there who are looking for products that offer them social returns as well as financial ones. Diversifying our financial support is a key priority for Scope, especially in the current economic climate, and the bonds create an alternative way for people to support our work alongside the philanthropic loans and traditional donations we receive. Proceeds from the first issue will provide us with the capital we need to invest in our income generation activities, giving us the potential to transform the support we are able to offer disabled people and their families in the future.”

Geoff Burnand, Chief Executive of Investing for Good, continued: “The response we have had from a wide range of investors who are attracted by the blend of financial and social returns has been exciting and we believe bodes well for the future of the social investment market.”

Bryn Jones, Fund Manager at Rathbone Unit Trust Management, one of the investors in the Scope Bond Programme continued: “The Scope Bond Programme will create funds to support disabled people and their families and therefore meets the social well-being and ethical criteria we’re looking for through Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund. We look forward to offering our clients interested in social investment new opportunities with Scope.”

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