Big Society Capital reports £893m worth of investments

04 Jul 2017 News

Big Society Capital has backed £893m worth of investments into charities and social enterprises since its inception in 2012, according to its annual report.

The organisation’s 2016 annual review, published today, says that this money was invested across 63 funds and social banks.

Some £340m of this total is from Big Society Capital and £553m from the 104 co-investors with whom it has partnered.

Of those organisations that received investment, 29 per cent were housing and local facilities; 16 per cent focused on employment, training and education; and 15 per cent were in the area of citizenship and community.

Money drawn down from Big Society Capital more than doubled during 2016 to £142m, up from £68m in 2015 and is being used by 428 charities and social enterprises in the UK.

Its review also details the organisation’s new strategy, including the three areas it intends to focus its investments on. These are:

  • Providing homes for people in need – following previous investments in Homes for Good, Real Lettings and Cheyne’s Social Property Fund;
  • Supporting communities to improve lives – following investments in community assets like energy generation to addressing financial exclusion for people;
  • Early action to prevent problems – following 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 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 that build understanding of social investment.”

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 organisation has also published its first online Impact Report today, which considers organisation’s impact achieved on people, organisations and the social investment market over the past five years.


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