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ThinkForward Social Impact Bond

Fund size | £
Big Society Capital investment | £

ThinkForward Social Impact Bond

Social Impact Bond to reduce youth unemployment by helping young people improve their behaviour, educational attainment and attendance at school.

Social impact

There are a growing number of children whose needs are not being met by the school system in England. As a consequence, they struggle with consistent behaviour and attendance, underperform in exams and leave school without a meaningful route into further education,  training and employment.

ThinkForward’s is a programme that addresses this by working with delivery partnerTomorrow’s People to provide intensive Progression Coaching to young people in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington in London. Young people are identified by their schools as being most at risk of not being in further education, training or employment after leaving school. Every young person has a tailored action plan designed to keep them in school, improve their employability, and sustain them in training and jobs when they leave school.

A range of metrics have been identified to show both success in achieving these outcome objectives, but also a series of interim indicators, such as improved behaviour and attendance which demonstrate that the young people are on track for success.

Financial rationale 

Our investment will help fund the upfront delivery costs of the services, with the Department for Work and Pensions paying for successful outcomes once they are achieved. In this way, the financial return is in lock-step with the social impact and the commissioner has reduced risk: they do not pay for services that do not demonstrate the intended results.

Market development

ThinkForward contributes to the development of the social investment market in a number of ways. First this innovative financing tool is allowing new service interventions to be piloted, tested and evaluated. Second, where success is demonstrated, it will allow ThinkForward to replicate in new schools, working with greater numbers of young people in areas of most need. Third it is contributing to the overall expansion of results-based commissioning and the Social Impact Bond market. The learnings from these early programmes will be shared with all parties in a growing market – there are now more than 30 Social Impact Bonds in the UK alone.

Investment details

  • Total fund size: £900,000
  • Big Society Capital's investment: £450,000
  • Co-investor: Impetus PEF
  • Outcome payer: Department for Work and Pensions
  • Delivery organisation: Tomorrow's People
  • Manager: ThinkForward


Last updated | 
20 January 2016