The Business Impact Challenge has been established to appeal to those who are active within the UK’s corporate industries, in union with the country’s community, charitable, and social enterprise sectors. The aim is that by working together, these partners will generate solutions to some of the most notable issues prevailing in society at the current time.
The programme provides an opportunity for businesses to invest in social activities that can in turn impact their profitability as well as accessing new markets, products, services and technologies that complement their strategic priorities. The charitable and social enterprises working alongside will have the opportunity to access the capital and business acumen of the corporate world, in order to deliver scale and greater impact to their social undertakings.
The competition will provide match funding for a private sector company towards a large investment proposal that can generate strong corporate and social value in the UK. The winner of the Challenge will be required offer the soft skills of a company to drive commercial and social impact.
The winning submission will receive between £5 million and £15 million in investment from Big Society Capital (BSC), which must be matched by the entrant.
Examples of high impact investment ideas are as follows:
• Corporate investment funds: Investing directly in social enterprises.
• Social purpose joint ventures: Collaborations between businesses and social purpose organisations to tackle a social issue with a business model.
• Social impact bonds: Purchasing social outcomes like literacy, or disease prevention, with payment by results.
The competition is open to small and medium-sized businesses. Entries can come from individual companies or partnerships, which could include voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, but must include at least one private company. All must fund or support social-purpose organisations with an interest in the UK, and entries will be judged primarily on the potential social impact.
Ideas must be submitted by 1 May 2015.