Bridges Fund Tops ?11.75m with JP Morgan Investment

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A fund for social entrepreneurs run by Bridges Venture has topped £11.75m following a £2.75m investment from JP Morgan.

The sustainable growth investor’s Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund opened in 2009 to address the funding gap faced by fast-growing social enterprises. Its first £9m was funded by the Office for Civil Society, Nesta, R&S Cohen Foundation, Deutsche Bank, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and others. The Bridges Ventures team has also allocated funds from their profit share via its charitable trust.

The £2.75m from JP Morgan is the first UK-based commitment made by the financial services firm’s social finance unit and marks the closure of the fund to new applications.

John M. Buley, junior managing director of social finance at JP Morgan, said: ’Our investment in the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund is the first investment in developed markets, and Bridges Ventures provides an excellent vehicle by which to deliver impact.’

Bridges Ventures executive director Antony Ross said the cash was good news for the whole social investment sector.

’With greater investment the sector can continue to innovate with financial solutions that help ambitious and talented entrepreneurs create powerful socio-economic growth,’ he said.

The fund has so far made two investments – £1.5m to transport social enterprise HCT Group and £400,000 to tele-communications social enterprise Call Britannia.

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