Investing to improve lives
We take a systemic approach to building the broader social impact investing market in the UK. Within our current strategy we focus on four market systems that we seek to shape to increase the quantity and quality of capital flowing to impactful enterprises and charities: Social and Affordable Housing, Impact Venture, Social Lending and Social Outcome Contracts. We see particular potential within these areas to direct more capital to business models that improve the lives of people in the UK, particularly those living in disadvantaged circumstances.
Across these four markets, we seek to understand the key actors and conditions that keep the current systems in place, to then identify leverage points where our investments or non-investment activities can trigger change. We capture these leverage points and activities in our market system strategies and track progress against them on an annual basis.
2022 was a year with significant macroeconomic uncertainty, as well as the ongoing aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. These external conditions have exacerbated many of the social issues we seek to tackle and have resulted in increased demand on many of the organisations, including social enterprises and charities, that we support through our capital.
We are supporting the development of an ecosystem that nurtures and scales innovative ways of tackling social problems – through mission-driven enterprises that embed societal impact in their approaches. Tech-enabled business models can have a transformative impact on social issues, if they are deployed in the right context, with the right intent, and with a business model aligned to impact, particularly for subsets of social issues including health, mental health, education and financial inclusion.
Our objective in social outcomes is to build an ecosystem that supports the delivery of outcomes contracts at scale, in a broad range of policy areas supported with appropriate funding, delivery and management expertise. To achieve this we work with stakeholders across the market to convene and share learnings, while ensuring that there is enough socially motivated capital in the market to service these projects, including investing our own capital.