Big Society Capital is offering funding for social impact investment ideas with potential to scale that address a UK social issue.
The social impact investor is offering up to £30,000 of development funding along with in-kind support and connections for a selection of ideas with the greatest potential to transform people’s lives in the UK.
It is calling on fund managers, social enterprises and charities to submit their ideas by 1 March 2021. Applicants are encouraged to explain the social issue, business models and potential for investment associated with their idea.
Ideas could relate to changing a part of the existing investment system that does not work, bringing together partners in new ways, or aligning the needs of charities, social enterprises and investors with a solution that is more effective than those currently available. They should demonstrate potential to scale through a fund or similar structure which could take on investment from Big Society Capital and/or others in future.
The initiative has been launched to start to address a scarcity of funding available for fund managers, charities and social enterprises to test and develop early-stage ideas.
The selection panel comprises a range of experts and leaders across the social enterprise and social impact investment sector, amongst them Andrew Croft, SEUK; Ben Smith, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; Matthew Bowcock, The Beacon Collaborative; Sarah Colston, Access Foundation; Paul Nicoll, Triodos; and Victoria Bew from Nesta.
Camilla Parke, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, said:
“Fund managers, charities and social enterprises have often been at the forefront of developing social impact investment solutions to UK social challenges – but there is currently a scarcity of funding to support them in the early stages of development. So, we’re thrilled to be launching Ideas for Impact – which will support them in taking the lead on developing more ideas to help improve people’s lives.”
Toyin Miller, Senior Relationship Manager at Triodos and member of the panel, added:
“The opportunity for social impact investment to deliver greater innovation is not a new concept. The ability for finance to ‘seed’ fresh ideas, from those with lived and first-hand experience has been proven to be successful. “I look forward to discovering how the Ideas for Impact applicants have used social innovation through investment to play a key role in creating a more inclusive and equitable society.”
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