Market data

Every year, we collate and publish data on the estimated size of the social impact investment market in the UK.

SHPS

Key stats

  • £5.1bn

    Size of the UK social impact investment market

  • 5,072

    Total number of transactions

  • 1,192

    Deals made in 2019

  • Key highlights

    • Social impact investment in the UK is estimated to be worth over £5.1 billion, spread across approximately 5,000 transactions. This is the value of social investments outstanding at the end of 2019

    • Latest estimate shows significant growth in social impact investments with a 20% increase since 2018 and six-fold growth over the past eight years, increasing from £830 million in 2011 to £5.1 billion in 2019

    • The bulk of this increase is due to Social Bank lending, Ventures & Enterprises and Social Property Funds

    • Alternatives to traditional bank lending have scaled 20-fold from £169 million (2011) to £3,388 million (2019). This diversity in the social impact investment market has enabled different types of investor to enter the market and increased the availability of finance options for social enterprises and charities

    • Social property funds, which did not exist eight years ago, now account for the largest segment of the market: at 42% of the £5.1 billion outstanding social investments at the end of 2019

    • Despite non-bank lending deal flow of £124 million, the amount of non-bank lending outstanding has increased by £13 million which suggests there have been repayments

    • With approximately 5,000 transactions outstanding at the end of 2019 (including over 2,600 alternatives to bank lending), we are confident over 3,500 different charities and social enterprises have benefitted from social investment

    • Social investment deal flow in the 2019 calendar year saw around £1.2 billion of deals committed to around 1,100 charities and social enterprises, a decrease vs £1.4 billion of deals in 2018, though the number of charities and social enterprises taking investment y-o-y was roughly unchanged

    • The 14% decline in deal flow over 2019 is driven by a reduction in Charity Bond Issues (£173 million decline), and a reduction in Social Property deals (£90 million decline). It is perhaps unsurprising that the sizable and episodic nature of property investments can lead to large variances

Deal level data

We also collate ‘Deal Level Data’ - this is transaction level data and in 2019 showed deal flow of £522 million as compared to £1.2 billion in this Market Sizing estimate. Most of the difference is due to new Social Property Funds and Social Bank Lending for Triodos not included in the Deal Level Data to December 2019.

Got a question about the market data?

How do we gather our data for market sizing? What is the definition of market size? We've put together some frequently asked questions and provided the answers.

Where is our data from?

Since 2012, we have made more than 100 investments in fund managers and social banks. As a wholesale investor with a remit to grow participation in social impact investment, we have a unique position which, through the help and collaboration of our partners, gives us a 360-degree view of the market. We can collect and share the most comprehensive, aggregated insights on the UK social investment market, and are grateful to all investors across the industry who provide their data.

Share your data

Each year we publish an annual estimate of the size of the social investment market in the UK. We also publish a list of social impact investments made into charities and social enterprises, both through our own investments and from other investors in the market. We will continue to update this estimate annually, as we continue to make advances in data and transparency.

If you are a social impact investor, you can contribute by sharing your data with us to publish.

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Get in touch

If you would like to share your data, or if you are interested in the data we produce, please do get in touch.