New strategy reveals plan to continue wide range of social investment funds and support, and put next efforts into three areas where there is best opportunity for social investment to make a difference.
The Big Society Capital 2016 Annual Review, published today, details the organisation’s new strategy to improve people’s lives through social investment.
The social investor will continue to make it easier for people and organisations to access existing social investment funds, and put new efforts into three areas where social investment can make a big difference. These are:
- Providing homes for people in need – building on the experience developed through investments such as Homes for Good, Real Lettings and Cheyne’s Social Property Fund.
- Supporting communities to improve lives – from investing in community assets like energy generation to addressing financial exclusion for people.
- Early action to prevent problems – building on the experience gained through investments into organisations such as London Early Years Foundation and the Ways to Wellness Social Impact Bond.
Cliff Prior, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital, said: “We have taken stock of what we have learned since we were set up five years ago, and worked closely with many of our stakeholders to define what role we can best play in the future. Our ultimate aim is to improve the lives of people in the UK by connecting investment to the charities and social enterprises that are creating social change.
“We will work in partnership with other organisations to focus our efforts where social investment can make a substantial difference to people’s lives: providing homes for people in need; supporting communities; and early action to prevent problems.
“Outside of these three new themes, we will continue to support the funds that we have already invested in, alongside initiatives like goodfinance.org.uk that build understanding of social investment.
“We believe we can achieve much more by combining our efforts and working in partnership with organisations that share common goals.”
Harvey McGrath, Chair of Big Society Capital, said: “Social investment has changed and developed since we were set up in 2012. There are now more products available than five years ago, including crowdfunding, unsecured loans and risk finance. Social investment is more effective in tackling some social issues than others. And it often works best when considered as one tool alongside others, such as grants and donations.
“Our new strategy is a natural evolution from what we’ve learned over the last five years.”
The 2016 Annual Review highlights that the amount of money signed and available to charities and social enterprises rose to £893 million across 63 investment into funds and social banks. The money drawn down from Big Society Capital more than doubled during 2016 to £142 million, up from £68 million in 2015. This money is being used by 428 charities and social enterprises to improve lives across the UK.
Big Society Capital’s first online Impact Report also launched today, looking back over the last five years at the impact achieved on people, organisations and the social investment market.