The Business Impact Challenge 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.
Some key features of the Challenge include:
- Brainstorming collaborations – a number of roundtable discussions where corporates who have an interest in a particular area can brainstorm new solutions with sector experts and explore opportunities for cross sector partnerships.
- Bootcamp - Shortlisted applicants will take part in a ‘bootcamp’ where they will receive advice on how to navigate internal barriers and secure support from key decision makers within their organisation, as well as practical feedback on their applications to accelerate their ideas towards viable business models.
- Feedback from Expert Business Panel – The Panel, chaired by Lord Davies, remains as a key feature this year. Applicants will have the opportunity to present their idea to the Panel, receiving valuable feedback to take on board as part of the due diligence process.
- Matched funding – matched investment into as many viable business ideas/ partnerships that emerge.
The winning submission will receive an investment from BSC, which must be matched by the entrant. Previous investments have been up to £15 million. Each company submitting an application must commit to a minimum of £1 million in investment, which will be matched by Big Society Capital.
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 sectors will generate solutions to some of the most notable social 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 projects.
Businesses can drive their own growth by addressing and investing in social challenges. An enterprise that identifies and invests in social business opportunities allows companies to attract and retain socially motivated so-called ‘intrapreneurs’ with compelling business ideas.
The Business Impact Challenge 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.
Although there are no specific exclusions cited within the programme guidelines, those wishing to apply are advised to liaise with the funding provider in the first instance to discuss eligibility.
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.
The business must provide an equal level of funding to match that awarded by the BSC.
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 2016 Challenge opened on 25 February 2016. The deadline for submissions was 1 September 2016.
Details and deadline information for any future rounds will be reported when available.
Link to guidelines:
A panel of innovative business leaders and social entrepreneurs will assess ideas for the Business Impact Challenge from corporates based on their social impact, business model and ability to deliver.
The winner of the Business Impact Challenge will be chosen by a panel that includes former Standard Chartered chairman Lord Mervyn Davies and former Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath.