A challenge to catalyse corporate social investment with matched investment from Big Society Capital
Corporate social investment is a powerful tool for companies to create growth opportunities that generate profit and achieve positive social impact. Companies at the forefront of their sectors are developing new business models to innovate products, strengthen supply chains, and attract the growing trend of socially aware customers, employees and shareholders.
This year's Business Impact Challenge was launched on 25 February 2016. It is a tailored programme that helps companies develop social investment ideas with matched funding from Big Society Capital.
The winners of last year’s Business Impact Challenge 2015 - Interserve, ClubFinance and Catch 22 - are creating an innovative joint venture to allow community organisations, charities and social enterprises to deliver on public service contracts at scale.
"Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success. It is not on the margin of what companies do but at the centre."
Michael Porter, Harvard Business School
Types of corporate social investment
The Business Impact Challenge is a co-investment challenge from Big Society Capital that drives companies to generate profit by embedding social investment into core strategies. A submission to the Business Impact Challenge must meet the following criteria:
The financial model reflects ability to generate:
- revenue on an ongoing basis
- a minimum 5% return with appropriate risk and return trade-off
The proposed solution to a social problem:
- is focused in the UK (international social focus supported by additional corporate spend)
- is positively correlated to making a profit
- has simple and clear metrics for measuring and monitoring the social outcomes and social risk
Ambitious and achievable
The overall proposal:
- demonstrates competitive advantage through its use of the company’s existing expertise, resources and networks
- benefits from a strong management team and robust corporate governance
- is driven by a senior internal sponsor at the company’s board or management team level
Entries may come from:
- individual companies
- partnerships with social sector organisations (which include at least one wholly commercial enterprise)
Frequently Asked Questions
“From CEOs to managers, companies need to be thinking about innovative ways of building social value into their business. Those that have done so successfully have not only had a positive social impact but have made commercial gains as well. We now need to see more businesses taking this approach."
Lord Davies, Chair of the Business Impact Challenge Panel
Expert Business Panel