The Future of the Social Investment Market

I presented my first webinar on the future of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) on Tuesday afternoon.

Aside from the slightly peculiar experience of sitting talking into a microphone without a live audience, developing the presentation gave me the opportunity to reflect and think about SIBs and the broader market.  Over the next month or two , I hope to write a series of blog entries on some of the topics that this thinking brought up.  In this blog, I have listed a series of questions to be considered.

The Social Impact Bond is connecting two big trends – the shift from government-provided public services to a more complex social economy with the development of a social investment market. What are the financial needs and challenges arising from the dramatic changes to public service delivery? How can social investment play a role?

As public sector commissioners take on a more market-shaping and less service development and procurement role,  how can social organisations help define the parameters of the new market? These might include, among other, the outcomes, the budgets for personalised budget holders and the support mechanism for such budget holders. Can social investment help smooth the transition?

To move social investment to the mainstream markets, what structures and vehicles are going to be required to access new pools of capital? What might the progression of the market look like?

To build outcome focused social delivery models, I want to highlight two important areas. The first is service or intervention design, should we be focused on evidence based programmes. Should we be using design thinking to develop user centred models? Or should we be doing something completely different? The second is service integration. In order to be successful at delivering outcomes, organisations need to work together. Is a service integrator needed or can a lead provider do the job? What skills are needed and how available are they in the marketplace?

As we explore other applications of social impact bonds, how much does the model need to adapt and change? And what are the limits?

All thoughts or answers to these questions are of course welcome. Please post them below. For Tuesday’s webinar, please click here: http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/sib/webinars/social-impact-bond-futures-development-outcome-based-finance 

By Toby Eccles, Social Finance Development Director

This entry was posted in Impact Investing, Social Impact Bonds. Bookmark the permalink.

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