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Nesta Impact Investment Fund

Fund size | £
Big Society Capital investment | £

Risk capital for social ventures using technology and innovation to support ageing well, educational attainment and sustainable communities.

Social impact

Not everyone in society benefits equally from innovation and technological advances. Nesta want to see the power of innovation and technology used to solve major social problems, bringing the benefits of innovation to everyone in society.

The fund invests in ventures with inclusive and scalable innovations that are run by outstanding entrepreneurs. In particular, organisations that seek to have a positive impact on the:

  • Health and well-being of an ageing population, including reducing avoidable injury and premature deaths of older people and increasing the number of older people participating in social, cultural and economic life
  • Educational attainment of children and the employability of young people
  • Social and environmental sustainability of communities, including increased access to products and services for people and communities experiencing exclusion.

Nesta supports all its investees to develop impact measurement plans and help them progress on the Nesta Standards of Evidence. The fund records the impact of an investment across three dimensions: the effect an investment has on defined target outcomes, the scale of an investee’s activities and the rigour of impact evidence. Nesta submits quarterly impact data to investors. Nesta has published a report about its learning from supporting ventures with impact measurement and regularly publish blogs about its learning from the fund and its investments.

Financial rationale 

The fund will invest risk capital in 15 to 20 charities and social enterprises that are addressing some of the UK’s most pressing challenges, particularly youth unemployment, elderly care and community exclusion. The fund manager is Nesta Investment Management LLP (NIM) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nesta (a UK charity).

Market development

NIM has extensive knowledge of the social sector that will help effectively channel capital to support social ventures. Nesta’s aim is to help embed social impact planning and measurement into each social organisation that it invests into and boost their capacity in this area. Alongside its work on social impact, the focus on risk capital for early stage ventures will encourage and support innovation in its chosen sectors.

Investment details

  • Big Society Capital investment of £8 million; Limited Partnership Fund
  • Total Fund Size of £17.6million
  • Co-investors: Nesta LP, Omidyar Network
  • Arranger/Manager: Nesta Investment Management
Last updated | 
20 January 2016