Last week we published our Impact Report online to coincide with our fifth anniversary and the launch of our new strategy.
The report highlights the significant growth in the social investment market over the last five years and the social impact at three distinct levels. These are impact on people, impact on organisations and impact on the social investment market. We have outlined key learning points under each section of the report which we hope will stimulate discussion and help inform people about some the opportunities and challenges of social investment. The report also includes an overview of our social impact approach and outlines our key activities and learning in this area.
Key impact statistics:
- In 2016 the annual deal flow was £608 compared to £202 million in 2012.
- Annual investments in “risk” products (beyond bank loans) has gone from £20 million in 2012 to £306m in 2016, an increase of 15 times.
- 87% of social investment was raised by charities and social enterprises who operate outside London.
- 71% of organisations work in the 50% most deprived areas in the UK.
- 26,000 jobs and training opportunities have been created, 2,000 people have been housed and 24,000 affordable loans have been provided for people on low incomes.
Key learning points:
- From product focus to social issue and revenue model: We started our first year overly focused on the financial product as the answer. We have learnt that all our work needs to start with the social issue and the revenue model that will aim to address it. We have then aimed to broaden the range of available social investment that best supports and grows those revenue models.
- Leadership is critical. It takes strong and resilient leadership to take a social venture to its full potential to help disadvantaged people. It is that quality of leadership, that combination of enterprise savvy, inspiring others, and including the people it’s for, that makes it all work.
- Partnerships and trust are key to success: Our partners including co-investors, social fund managers, infrastructure bodies, arrangers, foundations, experts and networks all play an essential role in connecting repayable finance to charities and social enterprises so that they can improve people’s lives.
The above information is just a small flavour of the content of the report and we would encourage readers to delve into some of the depth of it to find out more about our journey, impact and learning from the past five years. We would very much like to hear your feedback, questions or comments about the content of the report and look forward to hearing from you.