UK – The UK social investment market grew by almost a quarter to £202m (€235.3m) per annum in 2011-12, according to a report by ICF GHK.

This growth came through an estimated 765 deals.

The report – 'Growing the Social Investment Market: The Landscape and Economic Impact', authored by ICF GHK in association with BMG Research – found that these 765 social investments, over the lifetime of their finance period, resulted in the creation or safeguarding of 340 UK social ventures, 6,870 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and £58m in GVA (gross added value) contribution to the economy in gross terms.

Mark Boleat, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, which jointly commissioned the report, said: "The continued growth of the UK social investment market is vital to supporting more than 180,000 social enterprises across the country that contribute around £55bn to the economy.

"The tax relief announced by the chancellor in the Budget was a welcome step in the right direction, and we now need to build on this by encouraging more private investment in the sector."
A total of 29 Social Investment and Finance Intermediaries (SIFIs) were identified as actively investing in 2011-12.
There is evidence of greater coverage of the English regions and Devolved Administrations, which both reinforce London's presence and highlight other developing areas within the UK.

This indicates substantial diversity in the geography, sector and social outcomes of investments.

However, SIFIs reported that they met only around half of expressed demand by social ventures, illustrating a significant funding gap.

CDFA/RBS Group (Community Development Finance Association) (2013) estimated the potential funding gap for social ventures to be around £1.3bn-2.1bn per annum.  

Improved access to finance, particularly to unsecured lending, is needed for the UK market for social investment to reach its full potential, according to the report.

Measured purely for economic – not social – impact, a social investment of just over £1m achieves 100 net national FTE jobs.

A three-year social investment of £11m would generate almost £1.9m net additional GVA in the national economy over the period.