What is Social Investment?

Social Investment (SI) is the use of repayable finance to achieve a social as well as a financial return. This means that the investor will expect their money back (usually with interest), but they will also be investing in social impact that is created by the work that your charity or social enterprise is doing.

**Definition from Big Society Capital

Who is it for?

SI isn’t right for every project/organisation; your project needs to generate enough of a surplus to generate a return for the investor, support sustainability and have a social impact.  Your legal structure will impact on the types of investments you can access.How much does it cost?SI may be ‘more expensive’ than other lenders but can have a range of benefits for the sustainability of your organisation, such as support with financials before and during investment, help to diversify and strengthen your board and/or support developing business plans.

What are the options?

SI can broadly be separated into three types: debt finance, equity and quasi-equity finance.

Take a look at our brief guide

Social Investment Toolkit

New to the world of social investment? Social Investment left you confused?


Good Finance have produced these ‘7 things to know about Social Investment’ as a very useful quick guide. This work was inspired by ‘Is taking on debt good finance? Lessons from those who have done it’, by Melanie Mills, Senior Director, Big Society Capital.

7 Things To Know About Social Investment