What is investment readiness?

Investment readiness signifies that a social venture has the capacity and capability to seek and utilise investment.  There are a number of elements that help to make a social venture investment ready:

  • Effective leadership
  • Business planning and strategy
  • Finance
  • Governance
  • Policy and procedures 


What is contract readiness?

Contract readiness signifies that a social venture has the capacity and capability to bid for and manage service delivery contracts.  The elements that help make a social venture contract ready are very similar to those which make a social venture investment ready and are covered by the points above.   


What is a social venture?

We define social ventures as organisations that:

Tackle social problems like obesity, educational disadvantage, poverty or health. The best make a significant social impact not just in breadth that is, reaching a significant number of people but also in depth, effecting a significant improvement in the quality of life of people who have significant needs.

Are financially sustainable thanks to revenues which come from paying customers, from governments, from charitable sources or from individual supporters (like Ebbsfleet United, a football club bought by 26,000 supporters, each paying 35 in 2008). We include ventures that distribute their profits or reinvest them. The best social ventures use business models that make the most of scarce public and philanthropic money, either through using a mix of grants, donations and income from paying customers, or from using considerable pro-bono, in-kind and volunteer support.

Aim to scale what works, through the growth of an organisation or through helping others to replicate their ideas and adapt them to their surroundings. Our previous research has pointed to a range of different methods for doing so from organisational growth, through franchising and federations, to licensing and looser diffusion. Some of these involve scaling up the metaphor taken from manufacturing. Others are better understood as more organic, graft and grow or scaling out, with ideas adapting as they spread, rather than growing in a single form. 

From Young Foundation s Growing Social Ventures (2011) 


How do you define the Potential for High Growth?

Potential for High Growth is a social venture that has ambition and plans to be able to utilise 500,000 upwards of social investment to increase their capacity to transform and delivery public services.   

Big Society Capital Glossary

Big Society Capital is a critical player in the social investment market and has helpfully defined some key concepts, terms and ideas used in the market.

Big Society Capital Glossary