How We Work

Social Finance is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2007 to help build a social investment market in the UK. Social Finance brings together individuals with substantial expertise in finance, strategy consultancy and the social sector to drive innovative, sustainable and scalable investment propositions. We combine a deep understanding of social issues with expertise in financial modelling, business case development and investment structuring.

Social Finance's initial team supported the work of the Commission on Unclaimed Assets, which recommended the establishment of a Social Investment Bank in March 2007. Social Finance's first objective was to explore in more detail the idea of a Social Investment Bank and establish the level of need for such services to develop the social investment market in the UK. Following this recommendation, Big Society Capital was officially launched in April 2012.

While the last ten years have seen the emergence of a nascent social investment market in the UK, most social investment funds remain small and social investment continues to lack the infrastructure required for efficient market functioning. A range of market intermediaries is necessary to connect organisations seeking social investment and those seeking to invest.

Our experience, and that of others in the market, indicates that without dedicated support, this infrastructure would take many years to develop and may never gather the required momentum.

An effective and sustainable social investment market needs:

  • Intermediaries focused on working with social sector organisations to develop their investment readiness (e.g. business planning, financial planning, legal and corporate finance advice);
  • Intermediaries focused on building investor confidence in social investment (e.g. investment research and advisory, investment innovation and structuring and investment syndication); and
  • Funds focused on providing appropriate finance to social ventures (e.g. social enterprise equity and property funds, social purpose loan providers, outcome-linked funds and funds-of-funds).

Social Finance provides a range of financial advisory services to help build the social investment market. We are dedicated to finding ways to raise capital through robust investment propositions. We are committed to driving financial innovation in the sector by designing investment products that deliver measurable social and financial return. We also have a broad range of research and advisory capabilities with which to enhance understanding and engagement with the social investor market