Ideas for Impact

A call for ideas using social impact investment to address a social issue in the UK.


Seven selected Ideas for Impact

In January 2021, we launched our Ideas for Impact programme to identify ideas to tackle social issues which had the potential to take on social investment as a way to scale and support multiple social organisations through an investment fund or similar structure.

Seven winners have been selected and will receive funding and support to help develop their ideas for new impact funds which plan to invest in the next generation of social impact enterprises.

  • 1. Tackling youth unemployment

    Social business support organisations Catch22 and Hatch Enterprise have partnered up with socially motivated tech investor Social Tech Trust to develop a programme and fund to support organisations in creating solutions to tackle youth unemployment.

  • 2. Refurbishing homes for homelessness charities

    Social enterprise Cornerstone Place hopes to create a new fund that will support the development or refurbishment of properties to rent to homelessness charities, with the fund taking development risk on properties and using an innovative revenue sharing model.

  • 3. Creating affordable housing using church-owned land

    Charity North East Churches Acting Together is looking to scope opportunities to unlock church-owned land and buildings in the North East for affordable and assisted housing.

  • 4. Addressing workplace inequalities

    Think-tank Resolution Foundation is scoping a proposed venture fund to invest in ‘tech for good’ ventures that improve working lives for low-paid and insecure workers; addressing structural challenges in UK labour market around rights, progression and skills.

  • 5. Supporting frontline organisations through the recovery

    Social investment fund manager Resonance wants to scope the appetite and market for a distressed assets fund that looks to purchase properties and lease them back to social and community enterprises on an initial rent-free basis to support their recovery.

  • 6. Growing a circular economy

    Social investment consultancy organisation Social Finance is testing the feasibility of a circular economy outcomes fund, in partnership with ReLondon (previously London Waste and Recycling Board). It aims to grow the circular economy, fund outcomes such as reduction of waste and CO2 emissions, and support purpose-led organisations with a circular mission at their heart.

  • 7. New tool for measuring diversity, equality and inclusion

    Social enterprise support organisation UnLtd is working together with social investor Big Issue Invest to build and share an online tool where social enterprises are able to understand and improve their diversity, equity and inclusion practices and policies.

  • 1 | 3

    We are very pleased to be supported by Better Society Capital - their expertise and knowledge of the sector will provide a great boost to our plans in this area.

    Louise Marston

    Director of Ventures, Resolution Foundation
  • 2 | 3

    We are thrilled that Better Society Capital has recognised the potential of Cornerstone Place to address homelessness in a sustainable way at a time of critical need.

    Richard Kennedy

    Co-founder, Cornerstone Place
  • 3 | 3

    As we've seen over the past year, partnerships rooted in solidarity and a vision for a positive future are critical if we are to drive much-needed change.

    Sunil Suri

    Head of Ventures and Innovation, Catch22

How can ideas that address a social issue become an investable proposition?

Watch our webinar with an expert panel of speakers sharing their experience of developing an idea into an investable proposition.

  • Selection Panel

    We have put together an expert selection panel with a mix of backgrounds and perspectives to review ideas and select those to receive development funding based on the factors identified in the application guidance.

    The members of the panel are:

    • Ben Smith (Esmee Fairbairn Foundation)
    • Matthew Bowcock (The Beacon Collaborative)
    • Sarah Colston (Access Foundation)
    • Liz Hayes (Connect Fund)
    • Celia Hannon (Nesta)
    • Paul Nicoll (Triodos)
    • Camilla Dolan (Eka Ventures)
    • Andrew Croft (Social Enterprise UK)
    • June O’Sullivan MBE (London Early Years Foundation)
    • Bonnie Chiu (TSIC)

Innovative investment approaches

Seeding innovation is at the core of our approach. Find out more about the innovative investment approaches we have co-developed with partners to tackle entrenched social issues.