Audio
Get Adobe Flash player
Social finance & Las Vegas A world apart ... ... or are they? L Peter Savage draws parallels between funding for social benefit and the razzamatazz of nab in Las Vegas. ast month we discussed crowdfunding in the context of TV and film production. It’s funding again this month because, during our ‘Look, Listen, Experience’ speaking tour, several people asked me whether social and/or community funding are potential sources of credit for businesses in our industry. It would be wrong, though, to ignore the NAB Show in Vegas so I’ve included a summary about that. First, funding… Social and community funding basics Social and/or community funding is arranged by community development finance institutions (CDFIs) which are part of the Community Development Funding Association (CDFA). (That’s enough acronyms!) 44 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE CDFIs lend money to businesses, social enterprises and individuals who struggle to get finance from high street banks and loan companies. Their main focus is on deprived communities – particularly in the north and northwest. Indeed, half the money that is lent via CDFIs is distributed in those regions. The stats show that, in the UK at the end of 2010, the CDFA had 66 members lending through 175 branches. Their collective loan portfolio stood at £531m plus they helped to leverage an additional £600m of loans from mainstream finance. So cumulatively they have helped to raise about £1 billion in loan facilities. And last year, they made 19,000 loans, totalling £200m. The CDFA’s helpful and informative website (http://www.cdfa.org.uk) lists its members, with contact details, and I recommend it as a starting point if you are looking to apply for this form of credit. What sorts of loans? So, where do CDFIs fit into the credit equation? They predominantly sit in the market for micro credits. If you want borrow under £15,000, and have been turned down by banks and other mainstream institutions, and if your business idea will help employ people or has a social or community benefit, then try a CDFI. However, without harping on yet again about the importance of business planning, it is a fact that having a decent business plan is often what unlocks the credit. Make sure that you give it your best shot, by having a credible and coherent plan showing how you will make that cash work, whoever you are applying to for credit. The most successful social funding project ever … Now onto my report on the world’s most famous bi-product of one of the largest ever social funding projects. Borne out of the Great Depression of 1929 (and, no, I wasn’t around then), the Hoover Dam (built to control floods, provide irrigation and produce hydroelectric power) created jobs for thousands of people – and led directly to the creation of Las Vegas, home of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)