Ashurst advises social enterprise Givfunds on FCA registration

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    Global law firm Ashurst has advised Givfunds Social Ventures on registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), bringing together an integrated team from across the firm's pro bono, legal, and risk consulting business.

    Givfunds, a social enterprise, works to bridge the 'pioneer gap' – the period between the establishment of a social enterprise and achieving scale – through the provision of low-cost impact investments to social enterprises predominantly in Africa and Asia. To date, Givfunds has supported over 25 social enterprises, and funded over 50 women entrepreneurs through its Indian entity. The successful FCA registration will allow Givfunds' UK entity to continue and expand this work globally from a UK base.

    The team was led by Ashurst partner, Bradley Rice, and Ashurst Risk Advisory partner, Matthew Russell. The wider Ashurst team consisted of Sophie Skeet (senior associate, Finance Regulatory), Greg Patton (senior associate, Finance Regulatory), Anna Burn (associate, Pro Bono), Nirali Shah (executive, Risk Advisory) and Malia Hamadache (specialist, Risk Advisory).

    Partner Bradley Rice said: "We are pleased to have advised GivFunds in such a crucial next stage of their journey. Social impact investment is increasingly relevant with public funds under pressure in many countries and this is why deeper collaboration is needed to drive forward the 'S' in ESG through creative social impact investing."

    Matthew Russell, Ashurst Risk Advisory partner, added: "This is a fantastic achievement for Givfunds, particularly in light of the unique challenges social enterprises face with FCA registration. It was a great display of the collaboration between our Risk Advisory, Advance Delivery, legal and pro bono teams and reinforces the benefits and efficiencies of Ashurst's holistic and integrated solutions for clients."

    "At Ashurst, we champion pro bono work that places power and agency back in the hands of disadvantaged and marginalised people, and provides the resources for them to make meaningful and sustainable changes to their lives and to their communities. We are delighted to have supported GivFunds with this latest milestone, and look forward to working with them to develop innovative solutions to social injustice across the globe" said Anna Burn, pro bono associate.

    Edward Yee, at Givfunds, commented: "I cannot overstate my appreciation for the Ashurst team, whose dedication to ensuring access to justice and backing social enterprises has been nothing short of remarkable. The synergised efforts of their risk advisory, legal, and pro bono teams provided a real understanding of the regulatory obligations and risks, as well as unwavering support that was essential to getting this over the line."