The Social Investment Intelligence Network is a group of UK social entrepreneurs meeting on a quarterly basis to review demand for social investment amongst social enterprises, charities and other social sector organisations.

Why is it needed?

While there is plenty of available research on the demand from investees for social investment opportunities – and speculation about the potential size and likely growth of the social investment market – there is limited knowledge about the nature of demand for finance from social organisations.

Research from Social Enterprise UK and others has consistently demonstrated that both early stage social sector organisations and those looking to expand their existing activity regard ‘access to finance’ as a major problem but there is little information available on what ‘access to finance’ means to these organisations and what sort of products may be useful to them.

With growing numbers of new investment funds being set up, it is vitally important that social investors, Big Society Capital, Access: the Foundation for Social Investment and other key stakeholders have the information they need to understand how potential investees approach the market and what they expect from it.

What will it do?

The Network will hold quarterly meetings of 10-12 social entrepreneurs from around the UK with knowledge of and interest in the development of the social investment market, and awareness of new developments in their local areas and professional sectors.

The intention is not to ensure that every region, social organisational structure or economic sector is specifically represented by an individual network member but that the group, between them, have expertise in all key areas of social investment activity.

Network members will be paid to attend meetings and provide their knowledge and expertise. The Network and its publications are a professional service not a representative activity.

The Network Coordinators will produce a quarterly report to key stakeholders with information based on discussions at network meetings and other ongoing research. The Network may carry out other specific pieces of work to aid its understanding of market development including interviews and ‘mystery shopper’ exercises, and will explore opportunities to establish quantitative data collection, analysis and publication.

Who is running it?

David Floyd of Social Spider CIC and Dan Gregory of Common Capital.