Annual Conference 2012 – ‘Mini Plenaries’

Three lively debates to choose from on Thursday 4th October > ‘Mini Plenaries’

Choose from the three following discussions:

1) What does ‘access to credit’ mean for businesses, social ventures and households?  A policy panel debate

Access to finance has become an even bigger issue since 2008,  with many

  • households confronting ‘financial  exclusion’
  • micro-enterprises and businesses in disadvantaged communities and
  • social ventures with not-for-private-profit structures

facing difficulties in securing the finance they need.

Hear from a panel of experts representing each market — household, business and civil society — on the issues faced by each today, such as:

  • What are the private, public and third sectors doing to provide credit to those in need?
  • What is the current public policy approach setting the parameters around products and services available to each market?
  • Is government taking an appropriate approach to ensuring provision of credit to each market?
  • What policies might need amending and why?

Chair / Moderator: Rob Parker, Social Investment and Finance Team, Cabinet Office


  • Richard Griffiths, Head of Communications, Consumer Finance Association
  • Sian Williams, Head of Financial Inclusion, Toynbee Hall
  • Benjamin Bell, External Affairs, Wonga
  • Vanessa Zainzinger, Business Editor, Real Business
  • Peter Holbrook, CEO, Social Enterprise UK

2) Pioneering partnerships: driving Community Finance collaboration

Creating an integrated delivery model with housing associations, community foundations, local authorities, money advice agencies, crowd finance providers and venture capitalists offers the customer an easy access and high quality financial product. It can blend advice, early stage investment and commercial equity products. It can extend the reach of services and the capacity of CDFIs.

Hear the approaches of three different CDFIs, along with a ground breaking housing association, and how partnerships could work for you.


  • Jas Bains MBE, CEO, Ashram Housing Association
  • Sharon MacPherson, Business Development Manager, Scotcash
  • Nick Nicolaou, Managing Director and Keith Miller, Senior Loan Fund Manager, GLE oneLondon
  • and Julian Blake of Bates Wells and Braithwaite, covering the legal perspective

3) Scaling the sector

Building scale within the community finance sector and developing deal flow are crucial if CDFIs are to be widely recognised as mainstream finance providers.

In this mini-plenary session you will learn how members are already achieving this, plus the huge potential of the largest bank to CDFI referral programme this sector has ever seen.


  • Irene Graham, British Bankers’ Association
  • Graeme Oram, CEO, The Five Lamps
  • Paul Kalinauckas, CEO, Black Country Reinvestment Society
  • and including the legal perspective, from Luke Fletcher of Bates Wells & Braithwaite

What next?


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