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From banks that can’t lend to small businesses, predatory payday lenders, high interest loan sharks, or social investors who just don’t support social enterprises - there’s plenty to criticise in the world of finance. But there’s a a strong and growing network of finance providers who are building resilient economies throughout the UK – offering a personal service, a supportive approach and a real alternative to traditional bank lenders and finance providers. Responsible Finance providers br ...
 
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show series
 
Impact investing has moved into the mainstream. Many asset owners and managers are trying to deliver more positive social and environmental impact as well as a financial return. Yet just a few years ago many institutions were dismissive or sceptical. How did this change? "It's not about telling people what they should do, it's demonstrating what ca…
 
Ready for some big numbers? How about £165 million? Just one of the staggering figures revealed in Salad Money's first ever impact report. Salad CEO Tim Rooney tells us how the social enterprise, which lends to NHS and Public Sector workers, has helped applicants identify £165m in benefits they could apply for but were not claiming. Its customers "…
 
This is both an extraordinary and, sadly, an every day tale. All over the UK people with children or caring responsibilities compete for shifts or work patterns which fit around them, face the 'poverty premium' or are locked out from opportunities. "I was dismissed on so many levels," says Jules Hawkins. "I knew I was capable of more and I knew I w…
 
Stephen Tighe and Sheryl Doe founded Allegro Opticians to address specific issues which the eyesight of musicians and performing artists. The business now has customers from all over the world, has won multiple business awards, has a trusted high street presence with three branches, and has grown from two to more than twenty employees. Stephen desc…
 
Air pollution contributes to around 40,000 deaths a year in the UK and more in many other parts of the world. Enjoy The Air helps cities achieve air quality standards through policy, infrastucture and behaviour change. CEO and founder Kate Barnard, an engineer, describes why she launched the business and how viewing cities as engineering systems me…
 
"They make it feel like it's your fault," says Cath Wohlers about loan sharks. They use manipulation, isolation and coercive control and ruin lives. Earlier this year a Centre for Social Justice report estimated 1.08 million people in England alone are currently using illegal moneylenders, who prey on financially vulnerable people. Cath is LIAISE M…
 
Danny Kruger MP answers questions from Responsible Finance CEO, Theodora Hadjimichael: How can Government stimulate a boom in the social economy? Danny has described the role of social enterprises in “fixing broken markets” – what does he mean by broken markets? How can social enterprises address them? Banks and tech companies invest heavily in CDF…
 
Can business be a force for good? Definitely, according David Hanney, CEO of Alpkit, a business and certified B Corp which designs and sources outdoor clothing, camping equipment, bikes and other gear. Alpkit sells direct-to-consumers through its website and its stores in the UK. It now has more than 100 employees – 6 years ago there were just 12. …
 
Imagine yourself on a zero-hours contract, leaving home early in the morning to deliver a sports therapy session. By the time you've spent several hours travelling to the place which booked the session - at your own expense - it's been cancelled. And you don't get paid. Now imagine making that journey in a wheelchair. Carrying a heavy bag in your t…
 
In one of the worst-offending industries for landfill and modern slavery, Kalopsia proves you can make products more ethically and minimise environmental impact. A batch manufacturer of textiles, apparel and accessories, Kalopsia is a social enterprise which started as an artistic collective and morphed into a textile producing community interest c…
 
Glasgow Wood Recycling transforms reclaimed wood which could otherwise be wasted into high quality furniture and products. The social enterprise and charity, launched in 2006, follows the Community Wood Recycling model. It has made furniture from reclaimed timber for a diverse range of customers from the public to hotels, boutique wedding venues, r…
 
Want to invest in an organisation supporting under-served businesses and disadvantaged communities - and be rewarded with an attractive tax relief for doing so? Community Investment Tax Relief is the answer, according to Katy Ford, chief executive of Foundation East. Foundation East lends to and supports small businesses unable to access mainstream…
 
What is Open Banking and how can it help people who are financially vulnerable and financially excluded, including people who are unbanked? How can Open Banking benefit businesses, social enterprises and the self-employed? How will Open Banking help Responsible Finance providers (and credit unions) – and what should they be doing and thinking about…
 
The Magic Roundabout, banknotes you had to write your name on, micro-lending in 1542 and slurping up energy to create cryptocurrency. There's plenty to think about in this new episode. Danyal Sattar is Chief Executive of Big Issue Invest, which span out of The Big Issue magazine. Big Issue Invest is a responsible finance provider which provides fin…
 
From kitchen table business to employer of ten and featured on the front page of national newspapers: BeeBee Wraps makes compostable food-wrappers from organic cotton, tree resin, British beeswax and organic jojoba oil. Founder Kath Austin launched BeeBee Wraps when she wanted to minimise her own family’s use of plastic and became curious about how…
 
Neil Kadagathur is CEO and co-founder of Creditspring, which he describes as a "new type of credit product designed for people with limited savings specifically for unexpected expenses." Creditspring launched in September 2018 and at the time of recording this podcast has 1000 members. Neil describes how the product works, the motivations behind se…
 
Jennifer Tankard interviews Cliff Rosenthal who has been an influential leader in the United States' community finance movement for two decades. Cliff is the author of the new book, Democratizing Finance - Origins of the Community Development Financial Institutions Movement. In this fascinating and wide ranging discussion, Jennifer asks Cliff about…
 
Jo founded and runs The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield, a social enterprise which saves six tonnes of great food from being wasted every week. The business collects food from organisations 6 days per week, operates 2 pay as you feel cafes, works with 16 primary schools, runs a veg box scheme, operates a sharehouse market and more. It's tackling s…
 
Sophie Maxwell is the founder of The Really NEET Project, a college which works with vulnerable young people aged 16 to 24. In 2009 she began running projects in secondary schools with excluded pupils. That led to national awards and setting up the first college in 2011. Sophie describes how her experience of homelessness informed Really NEET's pro…
 
Faisel Rahman is CEO and founder of Fair Finance, a social enterprise tackling financial exclusion which has built a reputation for entrepreneurial growth, social and commercial rigour. Faisal talks about how working with Grameen and the World Bank in Bangladesh sowed a seed that led to Fair Finance, and how understanding what makes high cost credi…
 
Shaz Shah is co-founder of Harry Specters, a business which makes lovingly handcrafted chocolates. Its products have won 22 Awards for their taste and quality. It’s also a business with a mission: to offer paid employment to, and free training for, young people with autism. "You can have a great business and also contribute to society," says Shah w…
 
Lancashire Community Finance was recognised earlier this year for its resilience and consistency in delivery of access to finance. It provides personal, home improvement and startup loans and reaches clients "even harder to reach than the average" in the responsible finance sector. Elaine talks about how this small organisation, rooted in its local…
 
Actor and activist Michael Sheen launched the End High Cost Credit Alliance at Responsible Finance 2018. The Alliance seeks to make affordable fair finance mainstream and support providers and customers. This episode features Sheen's speech highlighting the Alliance's pragmatic and collaborative approach. "I’m in this for the long haul," says Sheen…
 
Stephen Henderson's business journey began at 16 when he discovered the cajon (a traditional percussion instrument) at a party. The keen musician and woodworker yearned for one of his own and got his tools out. With some wood left over, he refined his design of “custom cajons” and began to advertise them online while studying for A-Levels. His uniq…
 
Charlotte Purdie was a new parent with a problem. There was nowhere to go with the right facilities to enable her to feed her baby. So Purdie – then 21 – did something about it. She launched The Milk Lounge, a cafe in Nottingham with fantastic, family friendly features. From clean and spacious changing rooms, activities for toddlers and older child…
 
Responsible finance providers lend to people, businesses and social enterprises. This episode features Duncan Parker, chief executive of Fredericks Foundation. Duncan covers the Foundation's Women's Loan Fund; their work to reduce unconscious bias on lending panels; his background in international development; and his worry that excessive concern f…
 
Responsible finance providers lend to people, businesses and social enterprises. They provide finance that is fair, support and advice. In the Responsible Finance podcast we meet providers and their customers. One is Purple Shoots, a not-for-profit microfinance organisation set up and run by Karen Davies to tackle unemployment and economic problems…
 
Responsible finance providers all over the UK lend to people, businesses and social enterprises. They provide finance that is fair, support and advice. In the Responsible Finance podcast we meet some of these providers and their customers. Episode 1 features Matt Smith, chief executive of Key Fund, which invests in and lends to community and social…
 
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