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Implementation Taskforce

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Social Impact Investing consumer research identifies key obstacles and opportunities for social impact investment

A social impact investing (SII) consumer research show and tell event was held by META Finance as part of research findings from the Implementation Taskforce. The research builds on the research conducting during the Advisory Group report by Tangerine and Centapse of which Tangerine conducted a media audit which provided an analysis of awareness and perceptions of Social Impact Investment (SII) amongst personal finance and investment media and Centapse conducted SII attitudinal and behavioural research.

The event was presented in Good Money Week, as part of the findings that have come out from Working Group 4 of the Implementation Taskforce: Making it Easier for People to Invest. Ben Leonard of META Finance was heading up the team that specifically looks at how data and innovation can be used to make it easier for people to invest. Sigma was appointed to carry out consumer research to ascertain what the key barriers to SII are. The initial foreseen hypotheses were around education (people don’t care/think about investments); accessibility (social projects are inaccessible); and transparency (there is a trust barrier with people and financial institutions).

A summary of the findings are below:

  • Research approach: 9 deep-dive interviews of people with varying interests and involvement with investing, donating and social impact, which informed a survey that was distributed to 526 individuals.

  • Survey participants demographics:

    • Income ranges from <£20K to >£100K with 55% between £20k - £50k

    • Age ranges from 18-65+

    • Gender breakdown of 56% female, 44% male

    • Geographically located across 45 cities in the UK

  • Top findings (in descending order for each type):

    • Adjectives used for SII: forward-looking, optimistic, sustainable, altruistic and exciting

    • Causes cared for: poverty, animal-welfare, human-health & wellbeing

    • SII enablers: evidences of social impact and ROI, transparency on how money was used, opportunity to crowdfund, tax deductions, thorough business plan, powerful impact stories

  • Key obstacles and opportunities in SII:


    • Inadequate information

    • Time-intensive learning process

    • Low confidence in ROI

    • SII perceived to require large wealth

    • Little info on impact created through investment

    • People who believe they don’t have funds to invest in SI donate to charity


    • People who believe they don’t have funds to invest in SI donate to charity

    • Use media & financial advisors to provide info

    • Simplify content

    • Provide quantities on ROI

    • Provide opportunities for micro-investing/crowdfunding

    • Quantify impact (perhaps with standard/kitemark?)

    • Publicise info on SII that resonate with benefits made with donations

Full consumer research findings can be downloaded below;

Social Investment Business