Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) has recently completed its third project, a £625,000 ‘refinance’ for local social enterprise Bristol Together.
Bristol Together’s aim is to rebuild lives by providing training and employment to ex-offenders. The social enterprise buys, refurbishes and sells properties creating full-time employment for ex-offenders whilst providing them with construction skills that can be applied in future jobs.
CEO and Founder, Paul Harrod, said: “Creating meaningful employment is a key factor in reducing re-offending”. Of the 50 people that the organisation has already helped, only two have re-offended – a re-offending rate ten times lower than the Bristol average!
BBRC was fundamental in securing £625,000 for Bristol Together as a ‘refinance’, which means successfully replacing a portion of the social investment finance that was originally raised to develop Bristol Together in 2012.
Bristol Together’s work is vital in helping ex-offenders get back into employment, where mainstream employers often see a criminal record as a red mark against their name. “My goal to return to work now seems more realistic,” said Rob, an ex-offender. “After I’d been unemployed for eight months I thought I’d never get back to work but now I can actually see it all happening in the future.”
The tailored, supportive training that Bristol Together offers to ex-offenders provides the confidence boost needed to overcome the fear of going back to work. “This job has helped me to refresh and develop the skills and experience that I had before I got into trouble,” said Matt, an ex-offender “But most of all it has helped me build my confidence again.”
Members of the BBRC team have visited several of Bristol Together’s sites and have seen the results first-hand. “This is exactly the type of forward-thinking social enterprise that we exist to support,” said Ed Rowberry, BBRC’s Chief Executive.
Bristol Together’s CEO, Paul Harrod, said: “BBRC introduced us to three new social investors, none of whom we had contact with before. With the additional investment support we have been able to extend our current social investment bonds until the end of 2018 as well as repay our founding investor in full.”
BBRC continues to make a positive impact in Bristol’s social enterprise sector by offering specialist brokering support, working alongside clients to approach investors, as well as providing financial modelling and negotiating legal agreements, amongst other tailored services.
Would your organisation benefit from support and advice to raise investment funds? Please contact BBRC for a free consultation with a member of our specialist team.