Over the past seven years Social Finance has raised over £24 million of social investment
Social Finance was set up in 2007 to understand the funding shortfall faced by the social sector.
We brought together a team of individuals from the social sector, finance and government to delve into the challenges and opportunities for voluntary and community organisations in providing services for the disadvantaged and vulnerable.
We realised that there were deeper issues at hand than simply the availability of capital for voluntary and community organisations. Those who pay for social services are not the people who use them. This creates a tension for service providers between the interests of their funders and their users. The funding of services may undermine their effectiveness. Alongside short-termism and bureaucracy in the system, this makes for a fairly dysfunctional marketplace.
With this insight, we began designing a number of financial and advisory services and products for social sector organisations. We looked for structures that would offer flexibility and long-term funding, and would encourage innovation to deliver maximum impact.
Over the past seven years Social Finance has mobilised over £75million of social investment from impact investors – many of whom were investing in this way for the first time. Over this period, we pioneered the Social Investment Bank, Social Impact Bonds, Development Impact Bonds, the application of Jam Jar Accounts, and the Care and Wellbeing Fund.
In order to structure a better functioning social economy, Social Finance brings a mix of rigorous analysis, an ability to consider the social and financial aspects of a problem together, knowledge of running transactions and raising capital, and a willingness to engage in managing and supporting implementation into the equation.