10 lessons from growing a market 10x in 10 years


Written by

Philipp Essl, Managing Director, Impact
Jeremy Rogers, Chief Investment Officer

We are excited to share ten important things we have learned from growing the social impact investment market in the UK: 10 lessons that speak to how we have evolved our approach to our mission, how we have mobilised others around our mission, and how we have developed our own organisation and people to keep delivering on our mission.

In recent years we have seen an increasing number of market building initiatives emerge across the world, as well as impact investors who are increasingly interested in driving broader systemic change through their investments. It is our engagement and the sharing of our experience with them that ultimately inspired the initial idea of creating this shared learning resource.

We have learnt that delivering market growth, and effectively tackling social and environmental challenges, requires a systemic approach to investing – that is seeking to actively change systems for good. Reflecting such approach in how we develop our own organisation and culture, as well as the people within BSC and the broader market, who are ultimately delivering on our mission, has been equally critical.

Experimentation has been crucial to our learning what works where – alongside a strong ambition to change and a healthy dose of pragmatism. We have learnt to embrace messiness, and therefore any impression given of our route in this report having been linear is certainly unintended.

Most importantly though, it has been our many partners across the social, public and private sectors who have been the constant source of our learning along the way. These include other field builders and social investors, many of whom had started to build the market before our time, and the many organisations who deliver meaningful change in people’s lives across the UK. We are truly thankful for their commitment, work, and partnerships, and the learning it has enabled.

It is therefore our hope that this resource will equally inspire and support other market-building organisations and investors on their own journeys towards more systemic approaches to impact investing and market building. The report is an invitation to engage and explore further with us, rather than an attempt to answer all the questions out there. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about our journey to simply reach out to us. We are always keen to learn from others, and support where we can.

We are looking forward to hearing from you,

Jeremy & Philipp, and team.

Philipp Essl

Philipp Essl

Managing Director, Impact
Jeremy Rogers

Jeremy Rogers

Chief Investment Officer
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