Social investment is all about people.
It’s about the millions of vulnerable people across the country who are facing challenges in employment, housing, mental or physical health, as well as the charities and social enterprises helping these people with the support of social investment.
But social investment is also about another type of people – those who are working in social investment to make finance work to achieve a social and financial return. There’s many less of these people, probably in the hundreds in the UK, but they are working hard to find new ways of connecting charities and social enterprises to the capital they need to operate and grow their impact.
The social investment market is growing. As such, there’s an increasing need to find more motivated people to work across the range of roles in the market. Therefore, last month, Big Society Capital took the first steps towards finding these people by holding the first social investment careers event.
The first ‘Careers in Social Investment’ event was held in partnership with Finance Matters to introduce interested people to the world of social investment. We were encouraged by the extremely high level of interest (we reached event capacity within a day of launching the event!) as well as the diversity of the attendees, with a mix of finance professionals, charity experts and graduate students. The event had a packed line-up of interactive content, including
An overview of the landscape of social investment players – there's a link to the presentation at the bottom of this blog
- An interactive case study of a real social investment deal
- A panel session with four current social investment professionals about their day-to-day experience, and
- Tips on how to gain more insight and experience into social investment before applying.
After all that hard work, attendees got a chance over a few drinks at the office, to network with each other and the social investors - many of which are currently looking for candidates.
What came out through the presentations and the discussions was that the concept of social investment and using finance to serve society, really does garner the interest of many people from financial and charity backgrounds. However, a combined interest in finance and passion for making a social change is what helps make a good social investor and candidate. In addition, there are a range of roles available, from the more finance-first to social-first, including investment, advisory and policymaking positions - so it’s well worth reaching out to the right organisations to see what may be the best fit.
We wanted to say a big thank you to all the people who attended (and hope you found it helpful), to Finance Matters for their excellent support, and all the good people who have already taken the plunge into social investment that came to share their insights with potential candidates. Hopefully, through this simple event, we’ve helped spur some interest amongst the next generation of social investors to ensure that social investment remains all about people. Stay tuned for more in the future!
If you have any feedback or comments, or see similar events take place in the future, please contact Simon Rowell.