Liverpool City Region-based First Ark is reporting a 100% uplift in its social accounting results for 2016/2017, delivering £22.5m of social impact value in 2017.
This increased result has been powered by its recently launched Social Investment Funds. The funds, launched in October 2016 provide both grants and loans to third sector and social enterprise organisations, as traditional funding can be difficult to access for this type of business.
First Ark’s comprehensive social impact measurement allows the organisation to recognise, govern and share the social value it generates. As a social purpose business First Ark’s mission and values are core to everything they do and their subsequent management of social impact also allows them to target resources, influence others and provide maximum contribution to the social economy.
First Ark’s CEO, Bob Taylor, said: “First Ark launched its Social Investment Fund at the Northern Enterprise Conference in Manchester, October 2016. Through this £4m fund called ‘Invest for Impact’, the First Ark Group has invested into charities and social impact businesses to help them grow and continue to create ladders of opportunity. First Ark also became a Reach Fund provider this year, which is a fund that can support organisations to become investment ready.
“Our core business is about creating a number of social businesses to recruit, train, flourish and employ directly for and in the communities that we serve. Publishing such powerful results in the 2016/2017 set of social accounts, fills our team with a real determination to continue to create these rewarding and life changing opportunities.”
Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotherham, commented: “The social economy is a vital cog in the machine which keeps our society ticking over, by contributing £1.5bn into the Liverpool City Regional economy, according to a recent report by the Heseltine Institute. First Ark is a beacon within our City Region that is making great strides to support the community they serve and I am pleased to congratulate them on the great work that they are doing to help local people.”