What is the gritty reality of social investment? If I were being cruel I would start by misquoting a saying most frequently credited to the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius “Life is really simple, but lawyers insist on making it complicated. “
We know that all too often there is a mismatch between the hype of social investment and the gritty reality. Part of this is a mismatch of expectations – between the social investor with the money, and the social enterprise looking to raise finance. And in my experience, this mismatch is particularly striking around the issue of governance.
Writing in today's Guardian, Katie Allen looks at how K10 is using social investment from Impact Ventures UK (which Big Society Capital invested into) to support young people into apprencticeships in the construction industry.
Early attempts to introduce payment by results into public services may have been met with scepticism, but the coalition government made important progress in developing new commissioning mechanisms that focus on paying for outcomes rather than simply paying for services, and showed a willingness to learn. Read more in The Guardian >>
Since our launch Big Society Capital has commissioned a broad range of research to help us build our understanding of the social investment market, covering topics from the potential of tax incentives, to the opportunities in the field of education. During this time we have often co-commissioned research, as well as collating other’s research on our website, as well as in our Social Investment Compendium, and have sought to ensure that our research supports that of others.
Last week I was invited to join a panel at the GIIN conference, to respond to the question: What is needed to bringing the impact investment market to scale? At Big Society Capital, growing the UK social investment market sits at the core of our mission – but how will we know when the market is at scale?
Strength and diversity are key to our vision for the social investment market. A new report released today co-commissioned by Big Society Capital provides evidence that although we are one step closer to reaching this vision, there are still some challenges ahead.
At Big Society Capital we’ve just published our first ever annual report. The report details what Big Society Capital has done in terms of making wholesale investments, encouraging others to invest alongside us and championing the social investment market more generally.