Social Business Trust was started in 2010 by Damon Buffini, founding partner of Permira, the global investment fund and Adele Blakebrough MBE, a leading social entrepreneur.
They share a belief in the importance of social enterprise in addressing society’s problems and in the benefits that working in partnership with business can deliver.
Blakebrough identified the challenges social enterprises can face in growing revenues beyond around £1 million. A major issue was the lack of expert business support to help social businesses grow.
Their goal was to find those social enterprises with a compelling mission, scalable model, strong management and ambition to expand and help them achieve their goals.
Buffini and Blakebrough had previously set up Breakthrough, an initiative from Permira to provide targeted cash grants and hands-on business support to social enterprises.
This went so well that they decided to use the model to create something with even greater impact. The result was Social Business Trust, bringing together a group of major companies to work together in supporting high-growth potential social enterprises to scale-up.