In this webinar, Judah Armani, Founder of InHouse Records, talks about his experience of taking on repayable finance as a small organisation. InHouse works in prisons with learners that want to be involved with a record label, giving them the opportunity to pursue work as an artist, in management or in production, which continues when they leave prison. InHouse has been running for three years and the reoffending rate of those who have taken part in their programme is less than 1%. The team is now looking to expand their work across the UK and the US.
The Q&A with Judah begins at 20:10, preceded by an introduction from the Arts & Culture finance team that explains what we offer, what we look for and other examples of similar projects that the team are currently pursuing. Key points from the webinar are also written below.
Q&A with Judah Armani
Process of pursuing investment
- Social Investment made sense for InHouse because it allowed the team to connect with like minded human beings that are knowledgeable about sustainable growth and who are passionate about how to increase impact.
- From the outset, the investment and resulting income generated was tied into the impact of the organisation. As income grows for the organisation there will then be more resources for the other parts of the business that don’t necessarily generate income.
- The idea for InHouse Records was tested through research. The team developed the ‘minimal viable product’ (MVP) and initially operated through one jail. This meant the team could demonstrate a prototype to Nesta and show that assumptions had been tested through research. This testing created insights which could then feed into the design of the programme, alongside co-creation with stakeholders and the opportunities for scale inside and outside of prison could be identified.
- Arts and Culture Finance helped to identify the resource gaps and encouraged thinking around people, management systems and relationships with institutions that could be useful for collaboration, as well as support around financial planning.
Three reasons to consider social investment
- A safe and enabling environment is crucial for navigating the financial side. Lots of organisations don’t like talking about finances, so don’t let that be a deterrent.
- The annual reporting for Arts and Culture Finance helped to iterate the team’s own internal reporting.
- The financial support from Arts and Culture Finance is honest and trustworthy
If an organisation can’t keep up repayments
- Arts and Culture Finance will support an organisation through the process, which could include restructuring a loan, pausing repayments or helping to model different scenarios that will enable the organisation to start making repayments.
- If as an organisation you’re worried about what happens if everything goes wrong, Arts and Culture Finance goes through a thorough due diligence process and will ensure everyone involved understands the risks. Once a loan is in the portfolio, the team will have regular check ins with an organisation to monitor progress and pick up on any early warning signs.
- Don’t be afraid to lean on the social investor to support you and generate new ideas.
- Arts and Culture Finance recognises that outputs and outcomes will be different for every organisation so do not aim to be prescriptive about the kind of data organisations have to collect.
- The team will work with your organisation to identify how you can best articulate and demonstrate the impact of your organisation and therefore what makes sense in terms of data collection. It’s always important to identify what the data actually tells you and how it can help your organisation make better decisions.
- The Cultural Impact Development Fund has a dedicated Impact Manager who works closely with investees to think about outputs and outcomes in a structured way and identifying what is realistic to achieve.