Philanthropy Impact

Inspiring philanthropy and social investment across borders, sectors and causes

Social investment round-up

Social investment round-up


Social investment, we know, is of interest to philanthropists, though not everyone would define it as philanthropy. Over recent months we have seen a steady increase in news around social investment. As a result we have decided we will bring you a regular round-up of social investment news with links so you can find out more.

HSBC invests £4m in social enterprise fund

HSBC has donated £4m to the social enterprise fund Big Issue Invest. The fund has a target of £10m, which it hopes to reach by March 2012. So far, it has attracted £8m..

It aims to invest in social enterprises that have the potential to have a significant social impact and provide a financial return to investors of at least 5%. The Fund has already invested £1.1m in four social enterprises.

Initial investments in the Fund have been made by M&G Investments fund manager Eric Lonergan, Deutsche Bank, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) and the Ulster Community Investment Trust.

Pioneering social impact bond reports on first year

The Peterborough Social Impact Bond that aims to reduce re-offending and generate a return for investors has reported on its first year of operation. However, it will take four years before its impact can be measured and any dividends paid to investors.

Over 500 prisoners are being monitored by the One*Service, which is providing support before and after release from Peterborough Prison. The number of reconvictions is being compared to a similar group of short sentenced male prisoners across the UK drawn from the Police National Computer. Against this objective measure, investors will either gain or lose on their investment.

The report says the Social Impact Bond funding structure has brought flexibility and innovation to the project. “Flexibility in terms of finance and therefore service provision; innovation in terms of the solutions and partnerships we are able to build because we are judged by outcomes and not outputs.”

Some of the practices used by the project are now being adopted by the prison for female prisoners. The report says: “Our sense on the ground is that we are making a difference. People say to us “If it wasn’t for you, we’d be back inside again.”

To download the report for free click here