We are delighted to be supporting the Social Investment Laboratory (SI Lab) which launches in Lisbon this afternoon and can be followed on a live stream from 5.30pm (GMT). The SI Lab is a social venture created by the Social Entrepreneurship Institute and funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on a 3 year grant. It aims to be a knowledge centre for social investment in Portugal and Lusophone countries, enabling the creation of a nascent social investment market. Speaking at the event will be the Social Finance Chairman Bernard Horn and International Director Jane Newman.
The 3-year strategy of the SI Lab comprises of the following; to create knowledge and market intelligence, catalyse the market creation by identifying suitable infrastructure and identify pilot-projects to test innovative social finance instruments. They plan to publish monthly research notes on specific social investment topics. These will include a glossary of social investment terms in Portuguese and international case studies on market creation, social impact bonds and other on issue areas such as homelessness, children in care and recidivism. The first three editions of these will be published at today’s launch event.
Initial work has suggested the two issue areas of most interest to commissioners are children in care and youth/adult recidivism. The SI Lab is carrying out research and putting together a pre-feasibility study to inform future discussion with these commissioners, with the aim of launching pilot projects in these areas. They are also in the early days of convening a Portuguese Social Investment Taskforce, for which Social Finance has been supporting the development of a strategy and work plan. There is in-principle agreement from key stakeholders to participate in this Taskforce.
The SI Lab team is comprised of Filipe Santos (Academic Director and Professor at INSEAD), Antonio Miguel (formally of Social Finance UK) and Joana Ferreira. The SI Lab benefits from shared services from the Social Entrepreneurship Institute and from close support by the Human Development Programme at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
The SI Lab has convened a prestigious Advisory Board with both national and international experts in the social investment sector: Jane Newman (International Director, Social Finance UK), Marc Ventresca (Professor, Said Business School University of Oxford), Carla Antunes da Silva (Managing Director and Head of UK Banking at Credit Suisse) and Joao Trigo da Roza (CEO of the Portuguese Association of Business Angels).
Social Finance extends its sincere congratulations to the team in Lisbon for all their hard work in launching this ambitious project and we look forward to working together to support the development of a global social investment market.