London, 24 March, 2014 – Following its first close in December 2013, LGT Venture Philanthropy and Berenberg’s award-winning £20.8million Impact Ventures UK (IVUK) social impact fund has made its first investment of £800,000 in K10, an independent social enterprise that employs apprentices and places them in the London construction industry.
The investment coincides with the recent appointment of Andrew Purvis as Chief Executive Officer of K10. He has spent more than 25 years working both in the private and charity sectors, including as Managing Director of Neal’s Yard Remedies for six years, and Chief Executive of youth charity, Fairbridge, for three years.
“IVUK stands out from other UK social impact funds and is an excellent fit for K10. Its collaborative approach was a key differentiator because it means that we are not only able to access financial support and the experience of IVUK’s world class investment committee, but also networks and business mentoring opportunities, Andrew Purvis said.”
One in 10 UK jobs is in construction, and just over 20% of the UK’s construction jobs in the last 12 months have been in London, yet apprentice opportunities in the sector have been in decline .
Andrew Purvis continued, “We are supplying a need for construction apprentices in London, and helping employers meet their corporate and social responsibility, local labour and apprenticeship targets. IVUK’s investment will enable us to continue to offer funded apprenticeships and directly employ more apprentices in their local area with the aim of helping them to secure long-term sustainable employment.”
K10 is an Apprenticeship Training Agency accredited by the National Apprenticeship Service. It currently partners with more than 75 developers and contractors and, to date, its scheme has been rolled out to more than 30 London boroughs and Local Authorities.
Richard Brass, Head of UK Clients at Berenberg Private Banking and Founder of Impact Ventures UK, said, “We are delighted to make IVUK’s first investment into K10. It sits in the sweet spot: a well-managed, high quality social enterprise with a robust business plan that is competing within the broader business landscape, whilst meeting a real need and with the potential to grow and make a difference in the community.”
Raf Goovaerts, Partner and Head of the UK investment team at LGT Venture Philanthropy, said, “We have first-hand experience working with young, fast-growing social enterprises around the world, and we are very excited to support K10. K10 is ready to accelerate its growth plans to attract more apprentices and provide them with both valuable skills training and rewarding work experience.”
IVUK was launched by LGT Venture Philanthropy in association with Berenberg with a £10million cornerstone investment from social investment bank Big Society Capital.
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital said, “This is social investment at its best. K10 has developed an innovative approach to tackling youth unemployment and now, supported by experienced investors, they are going to be able to grow their organisation and help more young people into apprenticeships.”
IVUK’s diverse investor base includes UK and European institutional investors, asset owners and private clients, reflecting the appeal of the fund across different sources of capital. It is one of the first social impact funds to attract investment from a UK local authority pension fund. IVUK invests in enterprises that create strong, positive social impact for disadvantaged people and communities in the UK as well as generating a financial return.
 Source: Office of National Statistics Annual Business Survey 2011, released in July 2013