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Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Big Society Capital

The World's First Social Investment Wholesale Bank

This case study examines the various initiatives, policies and strategies that were relevant to Big Society Capital’s creation, as well as the rationales behind them. Big Society Capital (BSC) is a financial institution set up for the purpose of building the market for social investment in the UK. It describes the process of setting BSC up and the challenges faced in getting things up and running. It is hoped that this analysis will be useful reading for practitioners, policymakers and students interested in understanding BSC and for the wider social investment market internationally in terms of offering insights into an innovative model of a wholesale banking institution. This case reveals the development of Big Society Capital as something of a ‘secret history’ by focussing on the individuals, sets of relationships and pivotal events that led to its establishment.


Alex Nicholls

Alex Nicholls is the Saïd Business School's Professor of Social Entrepreneurship. His research interests range across several key areas within social entrepreneurship and social innovation, sopme of which are social finance and social impact investing.

Jess Daggers

Jess Daggers is a PhD student at Birkbeck College, freelance consultant, and researcher specialising in social investment and impact measurement.


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