Social Impact Investors Group (SIIG) seeks research partner to help unlock new catalytic capital

20 September 2021

**Deadline extended to 5pm, Monday 18 October**

SIIG, a network of foundations interested in social impact investing convened by ACF, is pleased to announce a new sector-led research project to identify the barriers to deploying catalytic capital: long-term, affordable and flexible repayable finance. The research project, hosted by SIIG and initially funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and Big Society Capital, will also look at the blockers for investors, with the aim for making catalytic capital more available across a spectrum of investment groups. 

The group is looking to partner with any individual, research organisation or consultancy that can demonstrate experience in social investment and has worked on topics relating to catalytic capital. Prospective applicants are invited to submit a tender brief by 5pm, Monday 18 October. The brief covers the various topics the group would like covered across six categories, including the role of catalytic capital to date and the barriers to unlocking more of this investment pool. 

The chosen researcher should produce a piece of market analysis gathered over a three-month period (November 2021 – February 2022) which collects the opinions of various social impact investment sector stakeholders in identifying common barriers including trusts and foundations, corporate foundations, high-net worth individuals, family offices, and the UK Government. They should also include the experiences of social enterprises, charities and early stage impact funds in accessing catalytic capital and provide forward recommendations.

To date catalytic capital has been used to provide investment to social enterprises, social impact funds and charities to test new business models and investment structures that have a limited track record. An example of this is the way in which catalytic capital supported the launch of social impact venture fund Fair by Design, which aims to support ventures that provide services and solutions to people living on lower incomes. 

This research report will be the first step in a multi-phased project (initially hosted by the SIIG) that aims to build a broad movement on the topic of catalytic capital, and work with a range of partners and networks to develop solutions for unlocking more catalytic capital in the UK. It will be monitored by a steering group of experts in the social impact investment market and will engage with a diverse range of voices and experience from the social sector. 


Social Impact Investors Group (SIIG) has been operating informally since 2011 and been convened since April 2018 by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), the membership body for UK foundations and grant-making charities. ACF’s 400 members collectively hold assets of around £50bn and give over £2.5bn annually. The SIIG has an active volunteer Steering Group, including representatives from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, City Bridge Trust, Big Society Capital, Bank Workers Charity, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Treebeard Trust and Trust for London.

Access Foundation (Access) is the Foundation for Social Investment that works to make charities and social enterprises in England more financially resilient and self-reliant, so that they can sustain or increase their impact. They do this through supporting the development of enterprise activity to grow and diversify income, and improving access to the social investment which can help stimulate 
that enterprise activity.

Big Society Capital exists to improve the lives of people in the UK through social impact investing, uniting ideas, expertise and capital to create investment solutions for the UK's social challenges, supporting organisations that deliver both positive social impact and sustainable financial returns. Big Society Capital has helped channel £2.2 billion (as at 31 December 2020) into investments tackling a wide range of problems such as housing and access to affordable financial products and services, to health and wellbeing, and community resilience.