Oxford Social Finance Programme

man in classroom
Using blended capital to address the world's largest problems

Start date:


  • 6 days (Sunday-Friday)

Time commitment:

  • Short programme


  • Oxford


  • £7,500 plus accommodation

Social Impact Scholarships

We are delighted to announce that we have a limited number of scholarships for each of our Impact Investing (March 2021), Social Finance (February 2021) and Impact Measurement (January 2021) programmes. This includes a 50% programme fee reduction and provides an opportunity for talented individuals, who would otherwise not have the funding available, to participate.

Scholarship recipients should be working for and funded by an aid or development agency, NGO, or other organisations in the not-for-profit sector.

To be considered, you will need to apply by 30 September 2020. You will need to include a personal statement.

About the programme

Social finance helps provide blended capital to fill the annual UN SDG gap of $2.1 trillion.

Global, systemic challenges as outlined by the UN SDGs (sustainable development goals) demand innovation which traditional financing mechanisms fail to address. Social finance builds a blended capital approach to address issues on a national or international scale. 

Solving issues such as climate change, gender equality, and food security requires innovative capital and this is provided by social finance.

You will:

  • Discover how deliberate leadership and effective policy can tackle some of the world's most complex problems
  • Learn how grants, donations and high-return investments blend together to create innovative fund structures and large scale impact
  • Gain insight of social finance tools including catalytic philanthropy, public private partnerships, social and development impact bonds

CEO level guest speakers from major, international foundations and NGOs will share their experience on implementing large scale social programmes.

An introduction to the programme

Social Finance programme introduction

Meet the faculty

Alex Nicholls is central to Oxford's global profile in researching and teaching social entrepreneurship. He produced the first major book on Social Finance in 2015.


Gayle Peterson has over 25 years' experience advising social investors and has assessed projects totalling over $12 billion.


We also have a variety of guest speakers on the programme.

What our alumni are saying

A blend of unique practice, fundamental knowledge and new innovative and professional approaches. The programme will provide you with a strong base but also with perspectives which previously you have not seen.

Maria Bulygina

Project Manager


To you

  • Gain experience on Layered Capital Approaches with access to the latest thinking
  • Learn how to use blended social finance to raise an ambitious co-mingled fund
  • Combine tools including catalytic philanthropy, programme and mission related investments, and donor advised funds
  • Examine the latest models including the Zuckerberg-Chan LLC and Jack Ma Trusts
  • Explore crowd funding and co-finance models

To your business

  • Create and develop a social finance action plan
  • Develop organisational infrastructure and culture to manage high-impact social projects
  • Access to global leaders in the finance industry
  • Join a growing international network of specialist organisations

Participant perspectives

Saïd business school 2

Programme outline

Day one

  • Build a common language based on cutting edge, global research 
  • Define scale and gain an overview of social finance, related policy and blended capital  
  • Examine leadership and consider your theory of change  
  • Case study: Wicked problems, values and leadership - Gayle Peterson, Programme Director
  • Social finance ecosystem and gender equality
  • Guest speaker: Jennifer Pryce, President and CEO of Calvert Impact Capital
  • Guest speaker: Oksana Oracheva, General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation
  • Guest speaker: Peter Tufano, Dean, Saïd Business School

Day two

  • Blended capital deals - Aunnie Patton Power, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School
  • Case Study: Power
  • Measuring systems change
  • Guest speaker: Martin Rich, Co-Founder, Future-Fit Foundation 
  • Discuss SDG 4 & 8, quality education and decent work and economic growth
  • Guest speaker: Jamie Merisotis, CEO, Lumina Foundation 
  • Guest speaker: Peter Hinton, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School
  • Small group tutorials

Day three

  • Case study: Risk
  • SDG 13: ESG and climate change
  • Guest speaker: Tom Van Dyck
  • Movement building
  • Guest speaker: Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund
  • Blended capital finance solutions
  • Guest speaker: Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation
  • Sustainable finance in the global south
  • University debate - Social finance panel

Day four

  • Case study: Community
  • Measuring Impact - Alex Nicholls, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School
  • The power of feedback
  • Guest speaker: Fay Twersky, Vice President, Hewlett Foundation
  • Feedback in action: Asia pilot project
  • Guest speaker: Naina Batra, CEO, AVPN
  • Building feedback loops
  • Guest speaker: Valerie Threlfall, Principal, ekouté

Day five

  • Case study: Candor and learning
  • Social impact bonds
  • SDG 1-17: Social finance innovation
  • Guest speaker: Phyllis Costanza, CEO, UBS Optimus Foundation
  • Systems change: imagine the future
  • Guest speaker: Trudi Lang, Senior Fellow in Management Practice, Saïd Business School

Why should you attend the programme?


                       Watch our previous webinars.

Joining the programme

How to apply

You can apply in one of two ways:


Programme fee includes all tuition, education materials, all daytime refreshments and evening meals including one at a college.

Accommodation – this is a non-residential programme. We can book accommodation for you and bill it alongside your programme fee, please indicate requirements on your application form.

Registrations are confirmed on receipt of full payment of the programme fee, and places are allocated in order of receipt of payment.

There are ten 50% scholarship places available for people working for and funded by an aid or development agency non-profits, NGO, or other organisation in the not for profit sector. For more information on how to apply for a scholarship contact Annabelle Richards.

Corporate privileges

Take advantage of our corporate partner rate (15%) if three or more people from your organisation take part.

Further benefits are available for three or more participants to attend Oxford Impact Investing Programme or Oxford Impact Measurement Programme within 12 months.

Visa requirements

Once you have a confirmed place on a programme, we suggest you apply for a visa as soon as possible, as it can take up to 100 days to process.

Saïd Business School can provide a letter to support your visa application if required.

FT Rankings 2020

Our Open Programmes have risen to number two in the world, and maintained their position as first in the UK for the sixth consecutive year in the 2020 FT Executive Education Rankings.


Terms & conditions