Big Society Capital helps to create a fair society by improving the lives of people in the UK through investment.


Our approach

Our approach to impact is deeply embedded in our investment process, decision making and portfolio management, as well as across our investment focus areas. In this way, we ensure that impact runs through everything we do. We also embed ESG throughout our investment process, for more detail please read about our ESG approach.

Key stats

  • 2,000+

    Number of social enterprises and charities receiving money from Big Society Capital and other investors

  • 73%

    Percentage of social enterprises and charities that are located in the 50% most deprived areas of the UK

  • 75%

    Percentage of organisations operating nationally or outside London

How do we measure impact?

We have three ways of measuring impact as we aim to create a fair society, each of which can help investors, funders, social enterprises and charities understand if they are delivering their missions and making a difference to the people they serve.

  • Impact on people

    This is the impact on people that use services and products, created by social enterprises and charities, that receive investment from fund managers or social banks we invest in. We use the Impact Management Project impact dimensions to help us define the change we want to see in people’s lives.

    What outcomes occur, who experiences them, and how much? What is the enterprise’s contribution beyond what would have happened anyway? What are the risks that impact doesn’t occur as expected?

  • Impact on the system

    This is the impact our investments have on the structures and institutions in society that can often make social issues seem entrenched. These changes benefit enterprises, fund managers and investors.

  • Financial sustainability

    This is considered through the financial returns that our investments generate. Rates of returns vary across our portfolio and are balanced against social and systems change returns, as well as our overall portfolio risk and return profile.

Operating Principles for Impact Management

We are a signatory to the Operating Principles for Impact Management – a common market framework for best practice in impact management. We’re pleased to publish our first Disclosure Statement, which provides an overview of our impact management approach and alignment with the Impact Principles.

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If you want to learn more about how we measure impact, or to find out how you can measure impact in your organisation, get in touch.