This is a beta website to help improve access to information on investment and finance for charities and social enterprises. In its first phase you can explore information about social investment, social impact measurement and the project itself. As the website grows we will include broader information on wider finance and investment for charities and social enterprises.
To have a look at the website please click here.
This is a beta website which forms part of a collaboration between organisations committed to improving access to information on investment and finance for charities and social enterprises.
Charities and social enterprises have a critical need for a comprehensive digital resource to help them to effectively navigate investment and finance options, and within this social investment. This applies particularly to organisations that have identified that finance could be used to address an organisational problem, but also extends to organisations interested in educating themselves more generally.
Evidence of this need originates from a number of sources including:
- Social Enterprise UK’s findings in the State of Social Enterprise 2015 Report – navigation, building confidence and skills, and addressing myths and fears are the most significant barriers for social enterprises wanting to access finance
- Findings from the Alternative Commission on Social Investment – social sector organisations would prefer a more easily navigable route to finance; create a ‘Compare the market’/’trip advisor’ tool for social investment
- Research conducted by the Cabinet Office recommending a digital offer to enable ventures to adapt to and explore the social finance market
We think that this could be addressed through a website that:
1. Is an educational source for charities and social enterprise who want to navigate investment and finance options, and help them understand how it may be useful to them
2. A tool to assist charities and social enterprises in making an informed decision around where and how to take on investment and finance, including the products, funds and alternative forms of finance available (such as crowdfunding for example)
Our ambition is to fill this demand through collaboration of key partners and user-focused design to develop ideas and an end product that works specifically for charities and social enterprises. There is a large volume and range of educational content available already, both in digital and print form. Part of this project will also be about looking at how we can draw on the knowledge and information already available, adapt, modify and identify the gaps, and help to understand how this platform can be a single point of entry for this content. There is a range of organisations that might use this platform and variations in what they require in terms of information, language and design. It is critical, therefore, to be able to access a broad sample of organisations that make up the end users, in order to understand how to effectively tailor the design to their needs.
The first phase of this project will run for the first half of 2016. During this time we will:
- Develop this beta website which pulls together existing information for charities and social enterprises
- Run user focused design workshops across the UK with a wide range of charities and social enterprises
- Aim to identify the need and the potential options for meeting this need
This first phase of work will be paid for by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, Big Society Capital and Cabinet Office, with in-kind support provide by all the members of the steering group.