We regularly collect data from Big Society Capital’s deals as well as social investment deals made by other investors and arranged by intermediaries which have not received our investment.
Our Data Dives blog series has a visualisation of the latest dataset and the data iteslf can be found in a Google Sheet. This, our fourth deal level data release, includes 2,200 transactions totalling over £1bn of social investment up until June 2017. For this release, Access – the Foundation for Social Investment have added 52 transactions from 2017 and Social Investment Scotland have added 124 transactions from a number of different funds, over a number of years.
The aim of publishing this dataset is to improve the availability of social investment data and to improve transparency around social investment activity. It is still very much a ‘work-in-progress’, with important limitations on the coverage and quality of data that are noted below. We continue to release a data set every six months, with iterative improvements each time. We hope it can continue to encourage a wider debate about the role of data and transparency in social investment.
The transactions represented through this dataset represent both social investment transactions that have been enabled by Big Society Capital’s investments and transactions arranged or made by other investors such as foundations. We have been very grateful to the additional investors who have added their own data to this data set. Nevertheless it is not yet a depiction of all social investment activity. Over time we hope to further expand the coverage of this data.
As with previous data releases, there are a number of caveats one needs to take into account when looking at the data. These include but are not limited to:
- Data gaps: There are some data gaps as organisations might not capture information as per the data fields in this dataset. When looking at the Tableau data gaps are represented as ‘null’ entries. In future deal-level data releases, we will aim to fill in these gaps. Be aware that the ‘nulls’ have been excluded in the initial visualisation and can easily be included by adjusting the filters.
- Region: In this release, we have asked for the postcode of the HQ of the entity receiving investment, and used this as a proxy for the location of impact. We use postcode area (first two digits of postcode) to derive region.
- Overlap and duplicates: As mentioned above, we are capturing transactions from a social investor into or that benefits a charity or social enterprises, there could be several transactions involved in a deal. There will also be some overlap between some transactions, as the activity of arrangers (such as ClearlySo) are counted separately to the activity of fund investors. Of the c,2,200 transactions listed totalling nearly £1bn of social investment, we are confident that more than 1,500 distinct frontlines have received approximately £1bn of social investment.
- Repayment: In this publication we have not captured the transactions that have been repaid but will be doing so in future publications.
- Investment date: We have asked fund managers, banks and other intermediaries to provide the contract signing date to capture all investments that are available to charities and social enterprises to access. This is not always the date captured by the fund managers and other intermediaries and therefore the data contains a mix of committee approval dates and contract signing dates.
- Value: We have chosen to capture the value of the investment commitment at the point of investment committee approval. In some investments the value drawn down by the charity or social enterprise varies from the initial commitment and we were unable to capture that information.
- Outcomes Matrix: A number of our funds, banks and arrangers do not classify the loans they have made according to Big Society Capital’s Outcome Matrix and we have therefore had to match with those categories which may not be a perfect alignment. Where organisations were unable to provide the outcome areas and the names of investees were provided we made our best attempts at identifying the outcome areas.
- Direct investments into intermediaries that would classify themselves as social enterprises are included in this dataset (e.g. our £14.5m commitment to Charity Bank) and therefore is likely to impact the numbers.
In addition to the deal level data we have also published the metrics investees are using to measure their impact. We ask this of all our investees, and by making the data public, we hope it will be used by organisations addressing similar social challenges to learn from their peers. The publication of this data will also create the framework for us to report on organisations’ impact in the future.
Previous publications of deal-level data: