Coutts & Co Launches UK’s First Ever Social Enterprise Advisory Service

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Coutts' new service brings together leading independent experts from the world of social enterprise.

Coutts & Co has announced the launch of a new Social Enterprise Advisory Service - the first ever to be provided in the UK - which is aimed at encouraging and assisting many of its 20,000 successful entrepreneurial clients to develop enterprises that give something back to the community. Social enterprises are a vibrant and diverse group of organisations which often reinvest the majority of their profits back into a social purpose. Some of the best known include the Eden Project, the Big Issue, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Fairtrade company Divine Chocolate.

The advisory service brings together a panel of leading independent experts from within the sector, including the School for Social Entrepreneurs, ClearlySo and UnLtd, who together, will focus on advising clients on the best way to navigate the diverse social enterprise sector to find opportunities to suit them. This includes facilitating mentoring opportunities and advisory roles, providing access to business angel investment opportunities and making grants and donations

In addition to the advisory service, Coutts will be hosting a series of educational days for clients and ‘speed-networking’ events at which potential investors will have the opportunity to meet social enterprises requiring investment funding. A guide to Social Enterprise, which has tips on structuring, finding funding, getting involved and measuring impact has also been launched by the private bank in association with the Social Enterprise Coalition and is available for download at

Andrew Haigh, Head of Entrepreneur Client Group at Coutts commented: “This is an exciting time with Social Enterprise providing a new and increasingly important dimension to philanthropy in the UK. With the concept of "giving something back" a frequent element of life planning for many successful entrepreneurs, this provides a great opportunity for them to use the skills that have driven their own success for the benefit of others. Through the service we have launched Coutts is able to bring them together in a way that is rewarding to them and hopefully provide lasting benefit to us all.”

The service will be delivered by three panel members:

  •     Clearly So, the leading social business, enterprise and investment website in the UK, which provides access to 1,200 leading social businesses and enterprises looking for investment;
  •     School for Social Entrepreneurs which has supported over 700 social entrepreneurs with its educational programmes and will be able to provide clients with opportunities to support a social entrepreneur through the SSE programme as well as mentor early stage entrepreneurs; and
  •     UnLtd, the leading provider of support to UK social entrepreneurs, offering the largest such network in the world, resourcing over 1,000 individuals each year through its core awards programme and supporting many more through direct engagement and partnership awards initiatives.

Rod Schwarz, CEO of ClearlySo commented: “We are delighted to be a core part of this pioneering service - helping to facilitate the flow of capital from High Net Worth Individuals into social businesses and enterprises is a vital part of a new wave in investing.”

Alastair Wilson, Chief Executive, School for Social Entrepreneurs said: "SSE is hugely excited to be working with Coutts on this exciting new advisory service. We know from our work that entrepreneurs learn best from each other, and gain the most relevant support from those individuals with real business experience. Harnessing that expertise, allied to a passion for social change, will enable social entrepreneurs to be more effective in their work. We look forward to building partnerships and relationships that create significant and lasting social impact."

Cliff Prior, CEO, UnLtd, commented: “The UK needs social entrepreneurs more than ever. They are the glue binding our society and the motivating force for social and environmental innovation. UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, is delighted to be working with Coutts on this new initiative which will connect social entrepreneurs with business entrepreneurs for advice and support to help them thrive.”

Andrew Haigh continued: “Coutts is one of the leading wealth advisers to entrepreneurs. In recent years we have built on our deep philanthropy roots to become a strong supporter of social enterprise. We are now bringing the knowledge to bear on the advice we give, helping our clients to achieve their diverse goals. We very much look forward to working with clients and partners who are at the forefront of this sector to make social enterprise an even bigger and more effective force in the future.”

More information on the service can be found at

For further information please contact:
Steve Ainger, Coutts & Co. Tel: 0207 753 1255 or email: steve(dot)ainger(at)coutts(dot)com

Notes to Editors

  •     Coutts & Co is the UK private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group is one of the world’s largest banking groups.
  •     The first Coutts & Co regional office to be opened was Eton in 1961. Today, Coutts & Co has regional offices in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Eton, Exeter, Guildford, Hampshire, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Tunbridge Wells.
  •     Coutts & Co offers clients a range of products and services covering sophisticated investment products together with expertise in trust and fiduciary services and UK tax and banking services. Coutts commercial banking arm also provides full banking service to UK businesses.
  •     Coutts & Co is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Coutts & Co Registered in England No 36695 Registered Office 440 Strand London WC2R 0QS.
  •     Call may be recorded.

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