In this post James Ronicle, Associate Director at Ecorys UK, describes the findings from the latest research collaboration between Ecorys UK and the Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU). The two research teams examined the reasons why 25 areas did, or did not, set up a social impact bond (SIB), and summarises the four factors that were essential in ensuring whether a SIB was launched.
At some point in 2015 I started thinking that if I didn’t get to grips with understanding social finance I’d probably be a bit of a dinosaur. In a world where money for preventive services is only likely to continue shrinking, any new avenues were worth knowing more about.
Australia’s first social impact bonds were launched in New South Wales in 2013, making them some of the earliest SIBs in the world. Three years on, Jill Carman from Aleron takes a look back at lessons from Australia and comparisons to the UK market.
Core Assets is a fostering and children’s services group based in Bromsgrove. As it reaches the milestone of young people in care now ‘graduating’ from the Social Impact Bond contract it delivers for Birmingham City Council, co-founder Jan Rees OBE reflects on the necessity to continually challenge the system to change vulnerable young people’s lives for the better.
Last week the Big Lottery Fund announced that up to £293,250 in grant funding has been offered in-principle to North Somerset Council for a four-year social impact bond (SIB) to support 240 local young people aged 10 to 17 who are at risk of going into care.
At Big Society Capital, we are seeing increasing interest in the use of social investment to pump prime public service reform. There are wide areas of government services which could benefit from being commissioned partially or fully on the basis of outcomes.
It’s an important day for social impact bonds (SIBs) as London-based youth charity, Think Forward, has successfully delivered one of the first social impact bonds in the UK to tackle youth unemployment and provide a return to investors.
The Department for Work and Pensions’ Innovation Fund was launched in 2012 to support payment-by-results programmes that enable disadvantaged young people to participate and succeed in education and training. Big Society Capital has invested in five of these Social Impact Bonds, including Think Forward and New Horizons. This summer, the first cohorts of young people on these two programmes sat their GCSE exams, and far exceed all predictions.
Having previously managed a European Social Fund project, I’ve developed a very close eye for detail, dealt with a lot of data and have experienced a payment by results contract. Despite this, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for my next step into the world of social investment.
Last month, Prince Charles visited the Homeground Hostel in Liverpool to meet young homeless people helped by Local Solutions, a charity supporting vulnerable and excluded people throughout the Merseyside region.
NCVO recently organised a series of social investment workshops supported by the Cabinet Office for charities and social enterprises.These sessions, held in Exeter, Ipswich, Leicester and London, aimed to raise awareness of the different models of social investment that are available.
Last night, we celebrated Big Society Capital’s second anniversary at an event kindly hosted by CCLA, with a room full of people who have all played a role in taking the vision for social investment and Big Society Capital ‘from ambition to action’. We heard from speakers including Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society [“it really feels like the idea of social investment is coming of age. It’s always been a beautiful vision but day by day we’re turning it into a reality that touches people’s lives”] and four organisations that have received investment (DERiC, Real Lettings, Impact Ventures UK and Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund).
LGT Venture Philanthropy and Berenberg have today announced the first close of their social impact fund, Impact Ventures UK. Following on from the initial cornerstone in principle commitment of £10m from Big Society Capital, the fund has now attracted a diverse range of mainstream investors interested in considering social outcomes alongside financial return.