Oxford Social Finance Programme

Social Finance 2018
Using blended capital to address the world's largest problems

Start date:


  • 5 days

Time commitment:

  • Short programme


  • Oxford


  • £6,000 plus accommodation

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 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 investment 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.

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

The benefits

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

Said business school 2

Programme outline

Day one – global innovations, taking social finance to scale

  • 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: What can go wrong and what can go right? 
  • Guest speaker: Jennifer Pryce, President and CEO of Calvert Impact Capital 
  • Examine global models in philanthropy, endowments and social investing  
  • Guest speaker: Oksana Oracheva, General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation  

Day two – impact measurement and feedback at scale

  • Measuring and managing performance, from leadership to impact  
  • Guest speaker: Karim Harji, Director, Oxford Impact Measurement Programme 
  • Develop feedback strategies and tools as a social finance tool 
  • Guest speaker: Dennis Whittle, CEO and Co-founder, Feedback Labs 
  • Explore technology strategies to accelerate large scale change 
  • Case study: Blended capital strategy to track slavery in the supply chain 
  • Guest speaker: Randy Newcombe, President and CEO, Humanity United 

Day three – innovative finance instruments

  • Social impact bonds and public/private sector investment 
  • Development impact bonds and Social Success Notes 
  • How one of the world’s largest wealth management businesses is using blended capital to help achieve SDGs   
  • Case study: From Giving to Investing - the world’s first development impact bond in education and healthcare in India and social success note in Uganda  
  • Guest speaker: Phyllis Costanza, CEO, UBS Optimum Foundation  
  • Guest speaker: Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director, Educate Girls  

Day four – climate change innovations, carbon and Canada

  • Environmental finance and carbon 
  • Guest Speaker: Mark Campanale, Founder and Executive Director, Carbon Tracker Initiative  
  • Policy interventions to support divest / invest strategies that address energy poverty and gender inequality  
  • Guest Speaker: Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund  
  • Use social finance tools and public-private-philanthropic partnerships to mitigate climate change Canada-wide
  • Balance impact at scale, the needs of pension funds and banks with the cultural and economic needs of indigenous people and women. 
  • Case study: Canada and Commonwealth strategies for sustainable finance and carbon efficiency and a low carbon economy 
  • Guest Speaker: Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation 
  • Guest Speaker: Jeffrey Cyr, Managing Partner, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners 

Day five – technology, finance, and policy innovation

  • Explore ways to mitigate risk when blending capital 
  • Examine how the Queen Rania Foundation is using technology to revolutionise education in Jordan and the Middle East through partnerships with the Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma 
  • Guest Speaker: Nafez Dakkak, UK CEO, Queen Rania Foundation  
  • See strategies used by Partners for Health and the government to transform Rwanda’s health care system after genocide 
  • Guest Speaker: Peter Drobac, Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School 
  • Establish post-programme networking goals

Joining the programme

How to apply

You can apply in one of two ways:


Next programme date:

4–8 November 2019 – applications now open


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 10 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.

Terms & conditions