Community Chest Ltd was established in 2016 by the ThinCats founder directors Kevin Caley and Peter Brown with the support and encouragement of ThinCats but as an independent company. Community Chest operates as a 'sponsor' of loans on the ThinCats peer to peer platform.
Kevin & Peter have a long history of involvement with community funding including managing the Advantage Early Growth Fund (AEGF) in the West Midlands. AEGF was the UK's second community development venture capital fund and for two years running was the most active venture capital investor England & Wales. They were also responsible for organising the national conference for the Community Development Finance Association for three years running and Kevin was joint author of a guide to establishing a local community development funding project. They see Community Chest as an opportunity to help fellow investors ‘put something back’ whilst also earning a decent return on their investment and attracting government support in the form of tax relief.
In March 2017 Malcolm Caley was appointed as Managing Director. Malcolm has worked with Peter and Kevin since the early days of ThinCats and before that on the Advantage Early Growth Fund. Malcolm's previous experience as Marketing Manager at ThinCats and his involvement in attracting support for the Community Chest project from Big Society Capital means that he is uniquely qualified for this challenge.
Matching Funding from Big Society Capital
The ThinCats/Community Chest initiative has attracted matched funding support for its SITR loans from Big Society Capital (BSC) up to a total of £2m. This will be used to provide up to half of the funding for individual Community Chest auctions. This is a new initiative from BSC designed to encourage crowd funding for social businesses. Community Chest is the only peer to peer lending project supported by BSC.
BSC was established by the Cabinet Office and launched as an independent organisation with a £600m investment fund in April 2012. The investment fund comes from dormant bank accounts via an independent Reclaim Fund and four leading UK high street banks.
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