Updated January 2016

Social Impact Bond Market in the UK

There is little doubt that the social impact bond market is developing rapidly in the UK. People count "social impact bonds" slightly differently depending on whether they insist that there have to be multiple investors, or non-state investors, but it is fair to say that there are about 15 that have either launched or are looking for investors. There are many others being developed.

  • Ministry of Justice: One Project – Peterborough Prison – £5m raised from (multiple funders); £8m maximum contract payment. Reducing recidivism in short-term offenders. This was the first social impact bond, but due to wider government reforms (the Ministry of Justice's Transforming Rehabilitation programme), this social impact bond is being terminated early: service delivery was originally due to run from September 2010 until 2017; it will now stop in June 2015.

  • Department of Works and Pensions: Innovation Fund – Round 1 – 6 awards – maximum contract payment: £16.4m
    To support disadvantaged young people and those at risk of disadvantage, aged 14 years and over. It will focus on the most disadvantaged young people rather than those who spend a short time not in education, employment, or training (NEET) whilst in transition between other activities:

    • APM UK Ltd – Birmingham – £3.3m
    • Stratford Development Partnership – East London – £1.3m
    • YMCA – Perthshire and Kinross – £1.2m (multiple funders)
    • Nottingham City Council – £2.9m
    • Tomorrow’s People – Shoreditch, London – £3.2m (BSC + one other)
    • Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership (New Horizons) – £4.5m (multiple funders). This SIB has now successfully completed, returning capital and income to investors.
  • DWP Innovation Fund – Round 2 – 4 awards – maximum contract payment £12m – 3 were SIBs
    To support disadvantaged young people, and those at risk of disadvantage, aged 14 and 15 years to reduce prospects of them being or becoming long term NEET:

    • Adviza – Thames Valley – £3.7m (multiple funders)
    • Teens & Toddlers – North West – £3.3m (multiple funders)
    • Dyslexia Action and CfBT Education Trust (3SC Capitalise) – £2.0m (multiple funders)
    • Prevista £3.0 – (PbR)
  • Greater London Authority - London Homelessness – 2 SIBs – maximum contract payment: £4.8m

    • St Mungo’s (North & West London) – £2.4m (multiple funders) This SIB has now successfully completed, returning capital and income to investors.
    • ThamesReach (South & East London) – £2.4m
  • Essex – Children on the edge of care (Essex) – total investment £3.1m (multiple funders)

  • CVAA “It’s all about me” (National) – Scalable, target investment around £6.5m (multiple funders), announced investment £2m.
    To facilitate and support around three hundred extra adoptions a year in the UK. These are likely to be focussed in particular on children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, with medical or clinical conditions, and those that are over four years old or in sibling groups.

  • Manchester City Council – multi-systemic treatment foster care project

  • Youth Engagement Fund: Seeking to address the challenges facing disadvantaged young people. £10m from the cabinet office, £5m from the Department of Works and Pensions, and £1m from the Ministry of Justice.

    • Unlocking Potential Ltd – Greater Manchester
    • Prevista – London
    • Futureshapers Sheffield Ltd – Sheffield
    • Teens and Toddlers Youth Engagement LLP – Greater Manchester
  • Newcastle West CCG/Ways to Wellness Ltd: Social prescribing for people with long-term health conditions.

  • Social Finance - Severe mental illness into employment

  • Facilitation and support for Multisystemic Therapy and Family Functional Therapy to help children on the edge of care.

  • Worcestershire (county council plus 3 CCGs) - Combatting loneliness in older people – delivered by Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire and others.

  • The Fair Chance Fund is supporting additional SIBs in the area of hard-to-help homeless people:

    • DePaul UK – working in Greenwich, Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale
    • Fusion Housing – working in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield
    • Home Group – working in Newcastle, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, Durham and Sunderland
    • Local Solutions – working in Liverpool and Knowsley
    • P3 (Aspire Gloucestershire) – working in Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury, Forest of Dean, Stroud, Cheltenham, Gloucester City and Cotswold
    • St Basils – working in Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, Walsall and Wyre Forest
    • P3/YMCA Derbyshire/The Y (Ambition East Midlands) – working in Leicester, Leicestershire, Derby and Derbyshire

In addition, there is currently a flurry of activity in a wide variety of social impact bonds utilising development grant money from the Big Lottery Fund's Commissioning Better Outcomes fund. iforchange is a provider of technical assistance under this fund.

Social Impact Bonds elsewhere

Social Impact Bonds have been launched in the USA, pushed by a commitment from President Obama for "Pay for Success Bonds". The White House initially announced a $100m programme to support them and this was increased in April 2013 to $195m. The first US SIB was in New York City, dealing with youth offending. Since then, there have been SIBs in Ohio (working with homeless mothers of children in foster care), one in New York State has outcomes relating both to recidivism and employment, one focussed on recidivism in Massachusetts, and one focussing on homelessness in Colorado, one in South Carolina working on health outcomes for mothers and children living in poverty, and a family-based support programme for substance-misusing parents in Connecticut. There are many more in the works across a variety of US states.

In Australia, they are called Social Benefit Bonds. The first one received AUD 7m of investment to work intensively with families to either safely return children in care to their families or prevent them from entering care in the first place. The second sought AUD 10m of funding for intensive family support to make children safer. The government has selected a further Social Benefit Bond for evaluation.

In Austria, a social impact bond to address poverty and marginalization of women affected by violence.

In Belgium (Brussels), a SIB focussed reducing unemployment for young migrants.

In Canada (Saskatchewan), one SIB has launched, which will “provide single mothers with children under the age of eight who are at risk of requiring services from Child and Family Services with affordable housing and support while the mothers complete their education, secure employment, or participate in pre-employment activities such as life skills training and parenting classes”. The government has invited further proposals.

In Finland, a social impact bond looking to improve occupational well-being amongst public sector employees.

In Germany (Augsburg), a social impact bond which aims to help disadvantaged, unemployed adolescents into employment and apprenticeships.

In Israel, a social impact bond designed to reduce the drop-out rate of higher education students, and a health impact bond to reduce the rate of Type 2 diabetes amongst a cohort of high risk individuals.

In the Netherlands a small social impact bond has been launched, raising EUR 680k that aims to reduce youth unemployment in Rotterdam, either by helping people into work or to get additional qualifications.

In Switzerland (Bern), a CHF 2.7m social impact bond for sustainable integration of refugees, which helps refugees into employment or professional training.

In New Zealand the government has approved a pilot project with health outcomes.

Other intermediaries in the sector have also said they are exploring Social Impact Bonds in South Africa (Justice), Ireland, and Israel.

Other Impact Bonds

There has been some discussion of extending the Impact Bond model to other areas, including health, international development and the environment. The term “Social Impact Bond” is still sometimes used for these.

Health Impact Bonds

There is a pilot project gathering data for a future impact bond aiming to reduce complications of asthma (Fresno, California, USA), a fairly-advanced SIB proposal for end-of-life care in Sandwell in the UK, and a plan for diabetes avoidance in Israel.

International Development Impact Bonds

Corporate funders have signed up to a project to reduce the incidence of malaria in Mozambique, and a consortium has been established to design and implement an impact bond to improve educational outcomes, particularly for girls, in India (Rajasthan). Other Impact Bonds are being considered in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, Swaziland, and Uganda.