The social investment market in the UK has grown by 30 per cent to almost £2bn, according to research from social investment wholesaler Big Society Capital.
BSC’s research shows the value of social investments outstanding at the end of 2016 was £1.95bn, going to at least 3,000 different charities and social enterprise, a £450m rise on the previous year.
Around £630m of new social investment deals to about 1,100 charities were made in 2016, up from £427m to around 950 in 2015.
The majority of this, £326m, was non-bank capital, which includes charity bonds, community shares, profit-with-purpose and social impact bonds.
There was significant growth in investments in social property, from £51m in 2015 to £130m in 2016.
The average deal size in the non-bank lending segment was £144,000 in 2016, up from £108,000 in 2015. Nick Benton, BSC data & management information controller, says in a blog that the main reason for the increase is that major small loans provider Key Fund lent less than normal in 2016.
BSC’s own social investment portfolio rose to £142m, or £467 million when including co-investors, at the end of 2016.
Benton writes: “This represents circa 7 per cent or 24 per cent of the value of UK social investment respectively - at the end of 2015 this was circa 4 per cent or 13 per cent.”