Oxford Social Finance Programme

Impact investing through blended finance

Start date:


  • 5 days

Time commitment:

  • Short programme


  • Oxford


  • £7,500

About the programme

Join fellow participants seeking to address the world’s most existential and difficult issues: climate change, poverty, hunger and loss of livelihoods.

This programme helps you build and negotiate multi-sector partnerships and combine capital sources. You will learn directly from world leaders in blended finance, showing you how they structure deals to achieve large scale positive impact.

The pandemic, global recession, climate change and shifting geopolitics require new collaborative and creative ways to use capital. The Oxford Social Finance Programme helps you understand the range of sources for capital, and how to deploy and combine them. These include:

  • philanthropic and concessionary capital
  • impact investing funds
  • Development Finance Institutions (DFI)
  • Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investments.

Over the course of this programme you will:

  • Discover how your own leadership influences and shapes your social finance strategy
  • Learn from and with C-Suite guest speakers from cross-sector, cross-global organisations who have successfully used blended finance at scale
  • Discuss real deals which tap concessionary capital to de-risk investments, trigger impact investing, engage B-Corps and ESG investments to create large scale impact
  • Put theory into practice with experiential learning, working with peers to design real-life, real-time blended finance structures to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Gain experience of tools including development impact bonds, social bonds, and social success notes.


Explore the art of the possible in social finance, to see how pioneering impact investments have been structured to bring about large scale, positive change and address the global challenges exemplified by the UN SDGs. 

An introduction to the programme


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.

Guest speakers

We have a variety of guest speakers who each bring a wealth of experience from their respective fields.

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 and access to the latest thinking from academic and industry thought leaders
  • Measure your impact on the communities you serve, and the success of partnerships created
  • Learn how to blend sources of finance to realise ambitious local and large scale strategies   
  • Understand tools including programme and mission related investments, (PRIs and MRIs) and donor advised funds
  • Understand how to combine catalytic capital and grants from foundations, public private partnerships, development finance institutions (DFIs) with ESG and impact investments
  • Develop negotiation skills to build resilient and lasting partnerships.

To your organisation

  • Create and develop a strategy for blending capital from different sources of social finance
  • Develop organisational infrastructure and culture to manage high-impact social projects
  • Access global leaders in the social and impact finance industry
  • Join a growing international network of specialist organisations.

Participant perspectives

Programme outline

Day one: Resetting finance to build back better

  • Overview of the social finance ecosystem and innovation during the pandemic  
  • Examine the role of leadership and negotiation in building lasting partnerships
  • Introduction to experiential learning exercise.

Day two: Impact measurement and management

  • Analyse and use impact management and measurement tools to blend capital deals
  • Create community and stakeholder feedback loops
  • Measure strengths and challenges of partnerships

Day three: Blended capital models

  • Build back better through blended capital
  • International examples from emerging economies
  • Ask the experts—social bonds, development impact bonds, social success notes

Day four: A global perspective: Social finance innovation

  • Examples of successful social impact and development bond implementations
  • Cross-sector collaboration  
  • Ask the experts—ESG investments and B-Corp

Day five: Private capital, ESG and sustainable investing

  • ESG as a source of sustainable and blended finance
  • Traditional finance firms bringing ethical finance from the margin to the mainstream
  • Ask the experts - Family offices through a global perspective

Day six: Redefining capital for the future

  • A vision for the next five years - global thought leadership
  • Experiential learning - report back on fund design exercise. 

Why should you attend the programme?

Joining the programme

How to apply

You can apply in one of two ways:


Programme fee includes all tuition and education materials.

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 Laila Valterio.

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