Application Guidance: Due diligence | Big Society Capital

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Application Guidance: Due diligence

The due diligence stage aims to build an externally tested understanding of the social issue and your proposed solution.

We will be looking for evidence of:

  • how well your proposed solution meets the need
  • your capability and track record
  • charity and social enterpirse demand for the amount and type of capital you are targetting
  • the profile and likelihood of your identified co-investors

This leads up to presentations to our Investment Committee, which meets most Wednesdays.  They will often ask for further diligence on specific areas.

By the point at which a final decision to invest is made we will have worked with you to:

  • identify the legal structure and terms of the investment
  • agreed a social impact framework, which sets out your approach to assessing and measuring social impact 

This will lead to approval of a draft Heads of Terms, which set out the basis upon which we will invest.

What do applicants need to provide?

To start the process, you will be asked to submit the following materials:

  • Business plan 
  • Financial model including sensitivities 
  • Social impact plan 

Throughout the process you will likely receive requests for further information from the investment team member working with you. This is in order to validate assumptions and provide evidence of track record.

What will Big Society Capital do?

The investment team member responsible for the application will arrange a kick off meeting to explain the process. This will be followed by management meetings so we can get to know the team and the proposal in more detail.

You will also be asked to meet with Big Society Capital’s Investment Committee during the process. This meeting allows the Investment Committee to learn more about your organisation and team – but it is also an opportunity for you to get to know us as a strategic partner and to explore how we can support you as an organisation. 

Find out more about what we do during assessment and co-development.

How long will it take?

It can take between 3 and 6 months to complete due diligence.  In practice, we find that the timelines vary considerably depending on the extent proposals change or the need for additional evidence.

We recognise that all elements of a proposal may not be fully formed at the point of application and often co-develop investments along with an intermediary. For example, we typically work closely with intermediaries to develop their impact screening and measurement methodology before we will make an investment commitment.  Also, given the importance of co-investment, there are likely to be periods during the process when you are focused more on engaging with other investors than with us.

The next application stage is then completing the legal documentation.