UK’s social investment market now worth £3.5bn

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Industry leader says value of social investments is growing by 30% every year. 

20th November 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

The UK’s social investment market is now worth over £3.5 billion, according to a new estimate.

Leading social impact investor Big Society Capital said there had been “phenomenal” growth in the sector since 2015, with market value increasing by at least 30% annually over the past three years.

Research for the company revealed that capital is already being put to good use, with the number of social impact investment transactions rising from 755 between 2016 and 2017 to 1023 the following year.

These transactions are largely helping organisations who need smaller loans or those unable to access mainstream sources of finance.  

Jeremy Rogers, chief investment officer at Big Society Capital, said: “The market’s impressive growth is being driven in part by increasing awareness of and confidence in taking on investment by social enterprises and charities.

“We have also seen growing interest in investing with purpose, which has prompted fund managers to create new and innovative products. This increase in products and capital has created more options for both investees and investors – helping capital to flow where it is most needed.

“We know that many of the issues social enterprises and charities are aiming to tackle, such as homelessness and financial exclusion, require significantly greater amounts of capital than is currently available to them. At Big Society Capital we work to connect this demand with interested investors. It is therefore fantastic to see this continued growth in the social investment market, helping to fund vital projects across the UK.”

Sarah Gordon, CEO of the Impact Investing Institute, said the new figures were good news for the third sector.

However, she cautioned: “We need to do more to make it easier for social enterprises and charities to access more of the capital that is so badly needed to address the social challenges we as a country face.

“Lowering some of the barriers that stop more capital flowing into impact investment will be one of the ways we hope to help further growth in the market.”