The creation of real and evidenced social value is increasingly important in the development of business models, public policy and finance. The social sector is ideally placed to be a leader in this area. It has a strong history of using its skills, passion and expertise to generate social benefit alongside its ability to innovate, deliver and grow.
At Big Society Capital, our focus is on the integration of social value into the investment decision making process for social investment in the UK. Our aim is to help social investors and investees build real evidence and common ground on which to develop and implement the growth of the market.
Our approach as an investor is to assess each and every investment to try and ensure that Big Society Capital delivers maximum social value. This is done through our Social Impact Tests and Thresholds Assessment:
Our approach as champion has been to work collaboratively across the sector to establish best practice amongst SIFIs and provide a standardised taxonomy and set of definitions for outcomes based investing. These best practice guides are aimed at the SIFI model and will therefore not necessarily apply to all investors. They do not include environmental outcomes.
The following have been developed with the collaboration and intellectual generosity of social investors and experts across the social sector:
- Best practice guide for impact first social investors that integrates social value into a robust investment process; from creating an impact strategy through to screening, due diligence and monitoring and reporting.
- An outcomes matrix that standardises definitions for key outcomes areas as well as providing research, context and suggested indicators for each of these outcome areas.
- Some guidance for social sector organisations on what social investors expect to see in an impact plan.
This is a work in progress, and we aim to continue our collaboration to try and maximise the social value that investment capital can unlock.