Cabinet Office unveils strategy to make UK a global hub for social investment

Two documents have been released today, one focusing on domestic social investment, the other on the international sphere

The government wants to make the UK a "global hub" for social investment, according to two strategy documents released today.

The documents, one of which is focused on the domestic social investment market and the other on international opportunities for the UK, consider how social investment can transform public services and how the UK can both attract overseas social investment and export UK social investment businesses.

The domestic strategy document explains how the government will stimulate demand for social investment and grow the social economy over the next five years.

This will include partnering with a UK university to create a centre of research and technical excellence in outcomes-based commissioning, and increasing the take-up of social impact bonds through an £80m Life Chances Fund to tackle difficult and costly social challenges.

An additional £25m is being committed to SIBs that focus on homelessness, mental health and employment, the strategy says.

The £105m of funds were announced in the joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review in November.

The international strategy, called Social Investment: The UK as a Global Hub, has been drawn up by the Cabinet Office, the British Council, UK Trade & Investment, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

It says the government will work with the social investment sector to attract international social investment and social ventures to the UK, help the export of UK social investment businesses and social ventures, and learn from successful innovations in other countries.

It says that "capitalising on international interest and harnessing a percentage of the global market share would contribute to UK economic growth, help to tackle some of society’s most deep-rooted issues, improve public services and increase innovation in the UK".

The government will initially focus its efforts on the US, Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and France.

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, said: "The time for social investment has arrived and it’s here to stay. These strategies show the strength of our ambition for this sector, ensuring that more and more people are using their money to transform lives and encourage economic growth."

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