Imagine you manage the social enterprise team in a big government department. One of your programmes is an investment fund called SocialBuilders, which causes you and your finance colleagues all kinds of problems.

First, because - unlike everything else in your budget - it’s not about buying services or granting money away. It’s about investment, which means the money might come back. So instead of accounting for it as expenditure, you need to account for it on your balance sheet. This is pretty complicated. (In fact, your finance colleagues would probably rather give it away as that would make their lives a lot easier…)

Second, because some investments repay, because projects sometimes slip, because the loan guarantees you make don’t involve cash moving around, and because you can’t force people to borrow money from the fund, you tend to need less cash each year than you budgeted for. Good news, eh?! Er, no. Your finance colleagues and the Minister don’t like this as they are nervous about the Treasury, the press and social enterprises finding out that you didn’t use it all. So they encourage you to get rid of the money as quick as you can, which makes it harder to invest sensibly and sustainably.

So what should you do? Well, if frank discussions with the likes of the Treasury don’t sound like a good idea, maybe you could give away the remaining budget and any money that comes back to someone else to hold?

But you can’t just give it to the people who run SocialBuilders just because they won the contract to run it, which would be like giving the family silver to your most recent cleaner. Besides, other investors would go spare and you would find yourself in legal trouble.

But what if you set up a new, neutral holding fund to pass it on, as needed, to the fund manager and other investors in future? (You could even combine forces with your colleagues who manage CohesionBuilders, ForwardBuilders, and RiskBuilders and who struggle with the same problem.)

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has been talking about a new bank he wants to set up which will hold money to pass on to investors in social projects. But the April start date looks rather ambitious.

Now if only someone could think of a way of finding some money to make it happen…