Launching the next wave of corporate engagement – the Business Impact Challenge 2016 | Big Society Capital

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Launching the next wave of corporate engagement – the Business Impact Challenge 2016

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Building on the interest generated in its inaugural year, today we are launching the 2016 Business Impact Challenge.

The concept for the Challenge itself came about as we looked for ways to educate corporates about the benefits of getting involved in social investment and to encourage more of them to take part.

Put simply, the Business Impact Challenge is designed to act as a catalyst to help companies design and launch innovative approaches to their business activities that also generate tangible positive social outcomes.

We’ve tailored the programme this year to provide more opportunities for companies to develop ideas, secure the essential internal buy in and develop strong business cases and partnerships.

Some key features of the Challenge include:

  • Brainstorming collaborations – We’ll be running a number of roundtable discussions over the coming months where corporates who have an interest in a particular area can brainstorm new solutions with sector experts and explore opportunities for cross sector partnerships. Watch this space for details of the particular topics in the coming weeks.
  • Bootcamp  - Shortlisted applicants will take part in a ‘bootcamp’ where they will receive advice on how to navigate  internal barriers and secure support from key decision makers within their organisation, as well as practical feedback on their applications to accelerate their ideas towards viable business models.
  • Feedback from our Expert Business Panel – The Panel, chaired by Lord Davies, remains as a key feature this year. Applicants will have the opportunity to present their idea to the Panel, receiving valuable feedback to take on board as part of the due diligence process.
  • Matched funding – We will look to provide matched investment into as many viable business ideas/ partnerships that emerge. While we’ve lowered the minimum amount companies need to have to get an idea off the ground, our preference (and resources!) will clearly be focused on those that have strong internal support and a commitment to large amounts of financial support in the medium to long term. 
  • Tailored timeframes – While 1st September is the deadline for applications, we’re ready to go now. If corporates have ideas that they’re keen to get going with, we can assess applications earlier. On the flip side,  once applications are received, due diligence will proceed at a pace that best works for all parties involved.

We hope that the Challenge will act as an incentive to companies who are tentatively interested in getting involved to jump in and get started with social investment, and that innovative partnerships - like Interserve, Catch 22 and ClubFinance’s winning idea from last year - will emerge in the coming months.

If you’re a company and interested in hearing more about the Challenge or taking part in a roundtable, please get in touch.

Last updated | 
25 February 2016