Big Society Capital announces former Executive Director at Teach First as new Head of Engagement

The UK’s leading social impact investor, Big Society Capital, has today announced that James Westhead will be joining its executive team as Head of Engagement.


As part of his new role, James will be responsible for growing understanding of social impact investment and unlocking more returnable investment for the social sector.

For the last decade, James has helped grow education charity Teach First, which provides teachers in disadvantaged areas, into the nation’s largest recruiter of graduates. James was responsible for marketing, communications, public affairs, and fundraising. Previously, he worked as a national journalist and broadcaster, including as the BBC’s Education & Social Policy correspondent.

Cliff Prior, CEO of Big Society Capital, commented:

“As the UK’s social impact investment sector continues to grow and diversify, it is more important than ever to connect with investors and other partners, and to increase awareness of the value we can create. We are truly delighted to have James joining us at Big Society Capital, with his outstanding breadth of experience and track record of success. James will drive forward the social impact investing movement, connecting investment to the enterprises that make positive change happen.”  

James Westhead, new Head of Engagement at Big Society Capital, said:

“It has been a privilege to help make education fairer by widening access to great teachers. Now I am excited to be joining another unique organisation driving system change - this time harnessing the power of finance. With the many challenges our society faces, there has never been a more important time for Big Society Capital’s mission to mobilise money to improve people’s lives in the UK.”  




Big Society Capital improves the lives of people in the UK by connecting social investment to social enterprises and charities.

We know that investment can help social enterprises and charities achieve more. We believe the greatest chance to improve lives comes when investors and enterprises are both motivated by social mission.

We engage with investors, fund managers, social enterprises and charities to make it easier to use social investment. With our co-investors, we have made over £1.7bn of new capital available to organisations with a social mission, through investments into fund managers and social banks. We have a special focus on: providing homes for people in need; supporting communities to improve lives; and early action to prevent problems.

Press Contact

Kathryn Mortimer, Press Officer, Big Society Capital

T: 020 7186 2537, E: