The social impact investment sector - perspectives and priorities

This brief report summarises the views, experiences and priorities of those working within the Social Impact Investment Sector (SII), including their views on the progress made over the last few years, what aspects of the sector are working well and the challenges and difficulties they encounter.


Our findings show that the SII sector has become considerably more established and settled over the last 2-3 years, with good levels of confidence and knowhow reported amongst most of those involved in the investment process and a growing sense that SII is becoming more achievable and accessible. There is also widespread recognition and agreement that the sector is making progress in achieving its aims. However, that is matched by a strong, prevailing view that there is a lot more to be done and the majority still recognise significant challenges and difficulties. This research highlights distinct areas for improvement for the SII sector, as set out in this report. The main themes arising were around the following areas:

  • Increase clarity and transparency in all communications and expressions of the sector e.g. in how people talk about the sector, the terminology and definitions used etc. to foster better understanding and further knowledge.
  • Greater standardisation and consolidation across the sector, with more consistency in approach and process. This would lead to more harmony in the physical constructs involved in SII, to measure and evaluate investments and cross compare.
  • More flexible funding models - more effective, creative and sensitive use of funding models to broaden access and opportunities across the sector.
  • More effective and proactive knowledge sharing e.g. via portal, one-stop-shop platform to access shared data, information and case studies etc.
  • Better networking - encouragement of collaboration, cross-pollination, interaction and relationship.

We would like to thank all of those who gave their time and contributed so helpfully to this study. We are delighted to be able to share these insights and hope they are useful in setting the context for moving the sector forward and driving more social impact investment. Read the report here.

Social Impact Investment - sector summary