Big Society Capital to double social impact market by 2025

Investing in impact venture, social lending, social outcomes contracts, and social and affordable housing

Big Society Capital will invest in the UK social impact market, aiming to increase the size to reach up to £15bn by 2025.

In Our 2025 Strategy: Scaling Impact, the firm said it plans to double the size of the market from £5.1bn at the end of 2019 to £10-15bn by 2025 through investing in impact venture, social lending, social outcomes contracts, and social and affordable housing.

So far it has committed £780m, and £2bn alongside partners, to more than 1,500 social enterprises and charities.

For example in April, Big Society Capital selected seven social impact enterprises to receive funding as part of its Ideas for Impact competition, including social investment fund manager Resonance, which was looking at the potential for a distressed assets social housing fund, and think-tank Resolution Foundation, which was scoping a proposed venture fund to invest in ‘tech for good’.

CEO Stephen Muers said: “We have been inspired by the incredible work done by both investors and frontline organisations to continue supporting communities that have needed it the most during these challenging times.”

With the UK government’s “levelling up” plans estimated to cost £1trn, and Crisis data showing ending homelessness by 2041 will cost more than £19bn, Muers added this is an “extremely significant” time for social impact investing.

“The pandemic has highlighted the need for sources of capital to address entrenched social challenges and inequalities,” he said.

“We are seeing more investors than ever – from individuals to private institutions and public bodies – wanting to achieve social impact alongside financial returns. Big Society Capital has an important role to play in seizing this opportunity as we build on our track record of supporting the market – and we look forward to working with partners to take this movement to the next level.”

In addition to its new funding strategy, Big Society Capital also said it will continue to work with partners in the innovation strand of its work – where it works with frontline organisations and investors to create new social impact investment solutions, and continue to work on the Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust.


Natasha Turner

Natasha was global editor at ESG Clarity, part of Mark Allen Financial, and a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the Year...