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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.