Nesta Impact Investment Fund

Technology and innovation

Big Society Capital has committed £8,000,000 to provide a range of finance for social ventures that use technology and innovation to solve social issues in the UK.

What is the impact strategy?

The fund will invest in organisations that seek to have a positive impact on the:

1) Health and well-being of an ageing population, including reducing avoidable injury and premature deaths of older people and increasing the number of older people participating in social, cultural and economic life

2) Educational attainment of children and the employability of young people

3) Social and environmental sustainability of communities, including increased access to products and services for people and communities experiencing exclusion.

How does the investment work?

The fund will invest risk capital in 15 to 20 frontline organisations that are addressing some of the UK’s most pressing challenges, particularly youth unemployment, elderly care and community exclusion.

How is it helping develop the social investment market?

The fund manager, Nesta, has extensive knowledge of the social sector that will help effectively channel capital to support social ventures. Nesta’s aim is to help embed social impact planning and measurement into each social organisation that they invest into and boost their capacity in this area. Alongside its work on social impact, the focus on risk capital for early stage ventures will encourage and support innovation in its chosen sectors. 

How will we evidence the impact of our investment?

This fund seeks to pioneer evidence-based impact investing by tracking and reporting the social impact performance of each investee and of the fund. The fund has defined social outcome targets that it plans to use to screen potential investees and will record the impact of an investment across three dimensions: the effect an investment has on defined target outcomes, the scale of an investee’s activities and the rigour of impact evidence.

Who’s involved?

The fund manager is Nesta Investment Management LLP (NIM) – an wholly-owned subsidiary of Nesta (a UK charity). Nesta’s mission is to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills.


Ageing well:

  • reduction in avoidable injury and premature deaths of older people;
  • increase in number of older people enjoying high quality of life;
  • increase in number of older people participating in social, cultural and economic life.

Children and Young People:

  • increases in children and young people’s educational attainment;
  • improvement in young people’s employment readiness and increases in the rates of employment of young people;
  • increases in the number of children and young people making positive contributions in their communities or to society overall;
  • improvements in the physical and mental well-being of children and young people.

Self-sustaining communities:

  • increased efficiency in the use of energy by individuals and communities;
  • reduced material intensity of goods and services utilised by individuals and communities;
  • increased self-reliance of individuals and communities in materials, energy and social capital;
  • increased access to products and services for individuals and communities experiencing exclusion;
  • increased ownership and/or management of assets by communities experiencing exclusion.


  • Individuals

Information correct as of 31 July 2014

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