Performance data of social investment released for first time
2015 June 5, London

New data published today reveals the financial performance of more than 400 closed investment deals in the UK social investment market.

The dataset represents the largest aggregate study to date of historic social investment performance. Commissioned by the Social Investment Research Council and Royal Bank of Scotland, it uncovers the financial characteristics of deals, including their risk and return.

A universal data model was developed by EngagedX to produce comparable benchmark data, which can help demonstrate the history of social investment and build confidence in the market. The anonymised performance data offers a snapshot of investments, ranging from £2,400 to £2.7m. The data was provided by CAF Venturesome, Key Fund and Social Investment Business on both debt and equity investments made between 2002 and 2014.

Main findings from the data and the data collection process include:

  • A very high level of engagement and customisations offered by investors, tailoring finance to social sector organisations to meet their changing needs.
  • Overall, the total financial return over the 12 year period was negative 9.2% [-0.77% annualised]. The data was taken from a higher risk portion of the social investment market. In this portion market building and social impact are often prioritised and losses can be higher.

This is the first time that social investment transactions from multiple investors have been combined into a single, comparable, dataset – once again demonstrating that the UK is at the forefront of the global movement to develop social investment as a force for good.

Karl H Richter, CEO of EngagedX, said:I commend CAF Venturesome, Key Fund and Social Investment Business as the vanguard in data transparency and thank them for their enormous efforts to make this project possible. We would like this seminal dataset to be expanded over time to be more representative of the full complexion of deals in the market, ranging from those that prioritise social return to those that prioritise financial return. This will give social investors the necessary access to reliable and anonymised performance data that will enable them to better understand the financial and social risk/return of new investment proposals being assessed. Improved market data will allow fund managers to independently benchmark their own performance and support raising more suitably priced wholesale capital.”

Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes at RBS, said: “RBS has been a leading supporter of social finance for 20 years, and backed the EngagedX idea for a social investment index from concept. We are delighted to see the results of this pilot.  We hope to see the pilot develop into a more complete data set, capturing more of the market, and would encourage social investors to come forward and support EngagedX."

Matt Robinson on behalf of the Social Investment Research Council, said: “We welcome the findings of the project as we are committed to improving the availability of data and information about social investment.  Comparable deal-level data is critical if confidence in social investment is to grow, and track records are to emerge. We hope this project helps to illustrate the value of comparable data, and also triggers further efforts to improve financial and social data on social investment deals”

To download a copy of the dataset and report, please visit A webinar to discuss how the data was collated will be held on 23rd June, 2015. Please email to register your interest.


Notes to editors

Media Contact

David Dinnage
Senior Media Manager, Big Society Capital
e | t | 020 7186 2510 m | 07885 879500

About the Social Investment Research Council

The Social Investment Research Council, launched in October 2013, is formed by Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital, Citi, City of London Corporation and Cabinet Office. It is a coordinated initiative which draws together research commissioners from key organisations in the social sector.

About the Royal Bank of Scotland

RBS is a UK-based banking and financial services company, headquartered in Edinburgh.

RBS provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its two main subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including Citizens, Charter One, Ulster Bank and Coutts.

About CAF Venturesome

CAF Venturesome, part of the Charities Aid Foundation, is one of the first social investment funds to be set up in the UK. Since 2002, it has supported 450 charities, social enterprises and community groups with £36m of affordable flexible finance. It provides financial assistance to organisations which may otherwise struggle to access grants or bank loans, enabling them to flourish.

About Key Fund

Key Fund is the UK’s biggest regionally based social investor, operating across the Northern half of England. Key Fund works in the gap where there is a cost to doing nothing – a cost to society, the Treasury, the tax payer, but more importantly, to our communities. We fund those turned down by banks, providing a ‘staircase’ to developing enterprise whilst effectively managing risk. By providing tailored investments, we continue our mission to break down the barriers to accessing finance.

About Social Investment Business

Social Investment Business is a pioneering social investment specialist. We specialise in developing investment readiness fund programmes that have so far raised investment and contracts of almost £130million from just £5million worth of grants. We manage one the largest social investment portfolios in the UK of over £110 million. Our Foundation pioneered community investment in the UK and now uses its money to raise new capital for the sector; to date leveraging over £30million from corporate and public sector organisations.

About EngagedX (trading name of Engaged Investment Ltd)

EngagedX is a social enterprise with the mission of unlocking socially motivated capital by developing market infrastructure for data driven services and products. EngagedX collects data about social impact investment transactions with the objective of aggregating time-series market data that can be used to benchmark the performance of individual investments, funds or capital managers. EngagedX is supported by the RBS Group and Cabinet Office, with plans to scale globally.