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Growing Social Ventures

This report examines the role of social venture intermediaries and investors: who they are, what they do, and what they could become.

This report examines the role of social venture intermediaries and investors: who they are, what they do, and what they could become.

Key findings:

  • The UK is seen as a global leader in the emerging fields of social enterprise and social finance.
  • Social venture intermediaries in the UK play a vital role for many social ventures and we expect the scale of their activity to grow substantially.  
  • Particularly at earlier stages of development, access to skills, advice in shaping business models, and networks are as vital for social ventures as access to finance.  Access to capital remains a challenge, however.
  • To consolidate the UK’s strong position in this sector, this report calls for a sophisticated approach to the design of the Big Society Bank and the wider government role in relation to this and employment; new forms of finance and for the major banks to engage more seriously.
  • Furthermore, the report recommends that intermediaries collaborate to provide easy access to guidance on what each provides, to assist entrepreneurs and innovators. 

This report is the first comprehensive survey of the state of the institutions that support a dynamic and emerging sector of social ventures.

 

These organisations, known as social venture intermediaries, play a vital role in supporting social ventures to operate more efficiently and commercially at scale. Carried out with the active involvement of major players, this report portrays a dynamic and diverse set of well over a hundred organisations helping to grow social enterprises, charities and other ventures.

 

To consolidate the UK's strong position, this report highlights the key gaps in the market and the barriers to growth that need to be addressed to ensure success for the social venture sector.

 

Authors:

Cynthia Shanmugalingam, Jack Graham, Simon Tucker and Geoff Mulgan, Young Foundation

 

 

Authors

Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Mulgan has been Chief Executive of Nesta since 2011. Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation and runs a wide range of activities in investment, practical innovation and research.

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