The Social Stock Exchange provides access to Europe’s only regulated exchange dedicated to businesses and investors seeking to achieve a positive social and environmental impact through their activities. To be listed here, a company must pass a stringent validation process. Companies must have the potential to deliver viable returns and demonstrate how they will adhere to their own social and/or environmental mandates and missions.
Investors can be confident that their money is being invested in credible, social or environmental companies. The Social Stock Exchange stands for integrity and dependability, ultimately, it can be the place where profit and progress meet.
What is Impact Investing?
Impact Investing is an investment approach that seeks to allocate capital where there is a clear social and environmental need, thereby aiming to achieve a measurable impact alongside a more traditional financial return. Impact investing seeks to positively include, rather than exclude investments, therefore opening up a wide array of opportunities to investors who intend to generate both a social impact and measurable financial return from their investment. Importantly the social impact, as well as the potential financial returns, are measured, giving the investor, who is looking for a return on an investment – and a return on impact – more clarity.
Our membership of the Social Stock Exchange is important as it highlights and supports our mission to address the chronic under supply of social housing. It also enables us to broaden our shareholder base to include those seeking to make a positive social impact through their investments.
Our initial focus was on the provision of good quality accommodation for the London PRS, developing homes to let to professional tenants. During the company re-structure in 2016 we changed our investment focus from growth to generating long term sustainable income. To achieve this we needed to broaden our investment area and build a portfolio of residential properties that would offer secure income, let on long leases to high quality tenants.
We met with individuals who were responsible for planning, commissioning and providing social care services for adults at local authorities, care providers, charities and registered social landlords. This enabled us to understand their needs and how we could work together to deliver suitable housing solutions.
A recurring theme was the requirement for accommodation that met the needs of vulnerable individuals and provided security of tenancy with long term leases, within a sustainable funding framework. None of which were offered by private sector landlords.
On conclusion, by leveraging our experience and expertise, we identified an opportunity to align the interests of private investors with the social housing sector. This is achievable by creating a company that adds new homes and generates secure long term income, combining financial return with a positive social impact.