Sir Ronald Cohen, chair of the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce, tells Lord Mayor’s Charity Leadership Programme that it will ‘characterise our times’
The sector is on the brink of a “new social entrepreneurial revolution”, according to Sir Ronald Cohen, chair of the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce.
Speaking as part of the Lord Mayor’s Charity Leadership Programme at the Mansion House in London on Thursday evening, Cohen outlined ambitious ideas for revolutionising philanthropy through impact investment.
Cohen, who was the first chair of Big Society Capital, said he was privileged to have been involved in the entrepreneurial revolution that saw start-up companies including Apple and Microsoft rise to become among the largest in the world.
Their success was achieved through technological breakthrough, but also a “novel form of financing – the venture capital industry”, he said.
“When we look around us today, some of us can feel, as I do, that we are on the brink of a new entrepreneurial revolution, a social revolution,” Cohen said.
“I see a rising wave of social entrepreneurship to follow the wave of business entrepreneurs.”
He said the need for a novel financing response to social entrepreneurs had led to the development of the first social impact bond, signed in March 2010 with the Ministry of Justice to reduce repeat offending among prisoners at HMP Peterborough.