Futurebuilders Learnings

Futurebuilders England was a ground-breaking, Government-backed social investment fund that provided loan financing to social sector organisations in England to help them bid for, win, and deliver public service contracts. Created in 2004, Futurebuilders was the first social investment fund in the UK and SIB has been running the Fund since 2008. Alongside Social Investment The analysis of the Futurebuilders portfolio has provided answers to longstanding questions around ‘what makes social investment work’ in the Read more…

COVID-19 and Communities: Sales Data Deep Dive

We’ve been doing a lot of internal research here at the Social Economy Data Lab to complement the work of our partners at Tortoise Media. Here on the SEDL site we’ll be drilling down into what the data can tell us about the social economy in particular, and areas that will need more focused and concentrated attention from grant-funders and social investors. ‘Left behind’ communities had already been identified as economically vulnerable prior to the Read more…

Updates on our data templates

One of the key ideas behind social investment is that one source of funding can unlock others. Whilst investment can be about taking a risk on new ideas or ways of delivering social impact, projects often seek to distribute risk by combining funding from different sources: accessing capital through a mix of community share offers, loans and grants.

Opening up

Whenever you are attempting to develop a new service, it’s crucial to get input from your potential users. You may believe you’ve come up with a cracking idea, but the only way you’ll find out if you’re right is by testing it, with people who are coming with a fresh pair of eyes. There is no shortage of splendid-sounding concepts which, in the end, have turned out not to be the killer app for this, or the trip advisor for that: in fact it’s an inevitable part of trying out new stuff that most of it won’t actually work.