We engage with investors to raise awareness and understanding of investments that help to solve some of the most pressing social issues in the UK. From individuals to large institutional investors, we help them navigate the impact investment market, sharing how investing for social impact can form part of their overall investment strategy.
Many of the investors are “impact first” investors, where social investing is just one tool for creating impact. Others want to embed impact into their overall investment strategy, giving it the same emphasis as financial returns.
We also work with organisations and individuals who have the expertise to co-develop solutions to social issues, and who may benefit from using social impact investment.
Innovation and awareness
In January 2021, we launched Ideas for Impact, a call for ideas that had the potential to be turned into impact funds. We selected seven ideas to support; these received a combination of development funding and/or support from our team. In addition, we are examining how we can build on our innovation work outside this programme, and plan to talk more about this over the coming year.
In collaboration with The Beacon Collaborative, the Individual Impact Investing Commission was set up to seek a better understanding of the barriers individuals with personal wealth face, when considering investing in social impact enterprises. The Commission will make recommendations for professional wealth managers, financial advisers, Government, business angel networks and other industry bodies supporting individuals and families, to increase their impact investing.
We continued to develop existing networks across the ecosystem, including Pensions For Purpose, Social Impact Investors Group (SIIG) and the Responsible Investment Network – Universities (RINU), as well as engaging with limited partnership investors in the impact venture space and members of Toniic, a global community of asset owners seeking deeper positive net impact across the spectrum of capital.
In July, we published our first institutional investor-facing guide, Mapping the Market: UK Social and Affordable Housing Funds, designed to help investors navigate this growing and complex area of the impact investment market. We also hosted a launch webinar attended by a range of investors, to talk through key aspects of the guide and discuss areas of particular interest.