The UK has a long history of developing innovative approaches to meeting social needs. With the establishment of Big Society Capital and the development of new products such as social impact bonds the UK led the world in this area. A new social investment industry promised to unlock innovation and growth in the social sector by providing social ventures with access to the funding that they have been unable to obtain from traditional lenders.

This report from the Young Foundation and the Boston Consulting Group is based on research commissioned by Big Society Capital on the social investment market in England. The objective of the research was to provide the first independent, comprehensive survey of the emerging social investment industry. In particular, until now there has been a lack of quantitative data and analysis on the size of the market, how it operates, the types of investment being made and the returns that may be realised – and this report goes some way to addressing these issues.

Lighting the Touchpaper is intended to provide the sector with a common understanding of the situation today, and some signposts for the way ahead.

Social finance & ventures

Posted on: 1 November 2011 Authors: Will Norman,


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