Matt Black, Business Development Manager of Social Enterprise Magazine

27 OCT 2010

Matt Black is Business Development Manager for Social Enterprise Magazine and co-founder of the Good Deals 2010 conference which helps investors and social entrepreneurs connect in the UK.  In this interview he answers some important questions about the conference and his work.

What is the Good Deals 2010 conference? Is it a place where investors find social enterprises? Or an educational conference for social enterprises?

Good Deals connects innovative investors and inspirational social entrepreneurs to get good deals done.

Not only will there be a myriad of networking opportunities for social entrepreneurs to meet investors, but we’ll be running a host of workshops and talks addressing the hot topics facing both the investor and the investee, encouraging debate and the sharing of knowledge.

This mix of connections and cutting-edge debate make Good Deals an event social entrepreneurs can’t afford to miss.

Who are some of the headline speakers at the event?  Are they social entrepreneurs primarily? Or are they investors?

This year we’ve expanded the Good Deals programme to reflect the expansion of the social investment marketplace, bringing together speakers from the worlds of mainstream investment and corporate business as well as the leading thinkers in social enterprise.

Leading investors include pioneer of the social impact bond Sir Ronald Cohen (chairman of The Portland Trust), Colin Grassie (UK CEO Deutsche Bank), and Antony Ross (managing director Bridges Ventures).

Top name social entrepreneurs include Liam Black (former CEO Fifteen, founder Wavelength), Rod Schwartz (CEO Clearly SO) and Lord Nat Wei (co-founder Teach First, Big Society ‘guru’) while speakers from mainstream business include Nick O’Donohoe (head of global strategy JP Morgan) and Mike Barry (head of sustainable business, Marks & Spencer).

We’re also delighted that Doug Richard is involved this year along with his fab guests Julie Devonshire and Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones.

Why invest in social enterprise?

Investments in social enterprises not only generate profit but help tackle social and environmental problems too. Traditionally social investments have relatively narrow return on investment, but with the growth of the social impact bond, investments have the potential to be much more lucrative.

Social impact bonds pay back to investors not just on profit earned but on the savings made to society. For instance social enterprises providing offenders with employment after they leave prison, reduce reoffending rates drastically and in turn greatly reduce costs to the government. Social impact bonds pay back investors on a payment-by-results contract. So for every offender who becomes a tax-paying employee, the investor receives a return.

Toby Eccles from Social Finance, and Sir Ronald Cohen pioneered the social impact bond and will be speaking about it at Good Deals.

How is social enterprise different from charity?

Social enterprise combines the innovation, competitiveness and efficiency of private business with the social impact of a charity. Crucially social enterprises are not dependent on donations allowing them the flexibility to tackle social problems while generating profits for their owners and investors.

Which social enterprises have turned out to be good investments?

Social investment is still really in its early stages, but there already some really exciting results going on all over the world and in the UK. Some of the best social enterprises that’ve gained investment in the UK include Divine Chocolate, HCT Group, Turning Point and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Foundation.

How much does it cost to attend and where do people go to register as entrepreneurs or investors?

The cost of the event varies depending on the size of a business/entrepreneurs turnover. Tickets start from £240. We do have a limited number of tickets available for past School for Startups delegates costing £150.  Email me for details.

To register for the event log on to

How can people buy social enterprise magazine? Can social enterprises send you their news for possible publication?

Subscription details for Social Enterprise magazine can be found on our website To submit a story email our newsdesk on

Social enterprises can upload stories to the section of the website entitled ‘Your News’. ‘Your News’ is read by over 20,000 online users every month. Find out more online: