Total investments the University of Northampton has under management
Amount currently invested in social impact investments
Estimated joint social value created across the University’s activities
Why social impact investing?
The University of Northampton has a commitment to ensure that social innovation and the delivery of positive social value, remains at its core - whether that relates to the student experience, staff development, procurement, community engagement or where it invests its financial assets.
The University takes a flexible approach to making social impact investments, utilising both debt and equity instruments and investing both directly in social purpose organisations, as well as in social impact funds managed by fund managers. These monies come from a variety of sources, but are mainly drawn from surplus operating cashflow and profits returned centrally to treasury.
In 2011, Northampton made its first social impact investment
A direct £200,000 equity investment in Goodwill Solutions Community Interest Company (CIC), a local logistics enterprise that trains, employs and supports ex-offenders. At that time, Goodwill had a turnover of approximately £400,000 per annum. The University has supported Goodwill in a range of non-financial ways, including: staff taking Board positions; research supporting social impact management; business development; funding/investment applications and the delivery of some of its social programmes. The Community Interest Company has grown its turnover to £3 million per annum in 2019 and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2020. Further, research conducted in partnership with Goodwill has shown that to date, the company has delivered nearly £15 million worth of social impact since the University’s initial investment; a return that is more valuable to the University than the financial growth achieved.
In 2014, Northampton started to invest in social impact funds
Since 2014, the University has made a series of further investments in social impact funds. To start, it invested £150,000 in Big Issue Invest’s Corporate Social Venture Fund (BII CSV) which supports early-stage social ventures through the provision of small loans of around £50,0000, alongside mentoring support from key partners (including the University).
In 2015, Northampton invested £100,000 in Impact Ventures UK (IVUK), a venture fund providing early-stage growth capital to social enterprises in the UK.
Both investments have led to significant social impact, with research projecting that the total social impact of the BII CSV could be as high as £37 million.
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