31st May 2022 – A new potential £25M social investment fund is announced today, offering flexible and patient capital for early-stage social businesses to grow their impact, ringfencing a minimum of 50% of funding for leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. Big Issue Invest, UnLtd and Shift have come together to announce the Growth Impact Fund, to level the social investment playing field.
This landmark fund is built in coalition with social investment experts, and is backed with funding from supporters including Bank of America and Access Foundation.
Big Issue Invest, UnLtd and design agency Shift have developed the fund to tackle the structural barriers of inequality within social investment, as highlighted by the Adebowale Commission. The commission ran between February 2020 and January 2022, and found that despite £600m of public investment since 2010, the social investment market remained unchanged.
The Growth Impact Fund has been developed with social entrepreneurs of diverse genders, ethnicities, ages, and those with disabilities, who have helped to design this social investment fund for organisations working to address inequalities.
The Fund, which is funded by professional investors only, will offer between £50k – £1.5 million to its investees. It has a unique approach to making social investment work better for social businesses.
The fund will:
- Provide investees with the option of patient, flexible capital, or alternative options including 70% of funding invested through equity and quasi-equity products.
- Provide grant funded wrap-around support across the investment process (from early-stage enterprises to established organisations, and pre-investment to post investment)
- Commit to ensuring the team, management, and governance of the fund are representative of the entrepreneurs the fund looks to support.
Every investee on the portfolio will have access to grants and non-financial help to grow their social business and social impact. Investees can use the support for needs such as caring responsibilities, accessibility support, consultancy, or professional development.