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Kick-off of the a4i project: helping the social sector to engage skilfully with investors

On 4th-5th February, EASPD and its partners gathered in Brussels for the kick-off of an innovative project: “Alliance For Inclusive investment in social care and support” (a4i). In the context of this EU funded project, social service providers, banks and universities will be working together for three years to develop and pilot academic and professional development programs on social investment. Those trainings aim to respond to several challenges of the social sector.

Care and support service providers have many investment needs; be it to respond to the increasing demand, to innovate or develop community-based infrastructure. At the same time, public investment is often drying up, with authorities being increasingly demanding when it comes to funding social services.

Given this context, service providers have to be aware of the alternative options; in other words, to know when, why and how to access private financing. Access to cheap and long-term loans could make sense for social infrastructure investment. A well-developed Social Impact Fund could help to support and drive innovation.

Yet, how many service providers have the confidence and expertise to engage skilfully with such investors? How many investors truly understand the trends, funding systems and culture of social service providers? This is why EASPD is coordinating this ambitious project that brings together very diverse partners and situations: it will be tested in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Spain.

To find out more about the project, visit the a4i webpage here.