Social impact investing in the UK has grown six-fold over the past eight years, increasing to more than £5 billion in 2019, according to figures released by asset management group Big Society Capital.
The number of transactions made in the sector increased by almost a fifth year-on-year to more than 5,000 in 2019, with investment coming from a broad range of institutions, including venture capital funds, social banks, social property funds, charity bonds and specialist lenders.
Social property funds, which did not exist eight years ago, now account for the largest segment of the market at 42% of the £5.1 billion outstanding social investments at the end of 2019.
Venture investing, where investors provide early stage and growth capital for innovative ventures tackling social issues, has also witnessed considerable growth, up nearly 50% compared with the prior year.
Stephen Muers, Interim CEO of Big Society Capital, said: “The impact of Covid-19 has been both social and economic and I believe will be a key driver in shifting investors’ focus from a purely financial return to one that delivers a social impact too. I expect social impact investment to play an increasingly important role as an engine of the economic recovery.”