A report examined the early findings from the evaluation of the Innovation Fund pilot initiative, aimed at supporting disadvantaged young people, through the use of Social Impact Bond (SIB) contracts. The work aimed to prevent young people from becoming NEET (not in education, employment, or training), or to support those already NEET to re-engage with education, training and employment. The SIB model was based on payment by results, dependent on the achievement of specified social outcomes including jobs, improved behaviour and attendance at school, and qualifications. The report said that most projects had bedded in after some early teething difficulties and were progressing well, and that the funding model had been a key driver of behaviours, focusing attention on generating 'starts' and tracking individual participants towards the achievement of outcomes. The report was the first part of a broader evaluation of the programme.
Source: Andrew Thomas and Rita Griffiths, Innovation Fund Pilots Qualitative Evaluation: Early implementation findings, Research Report 880, Department for Work and Pensions
An article examined social innovations in addressing health inequalities in the United Kingdom. It discussed three forms of existing social innovation (microcredit for enterprise; social enterprise in the form of Work Integration Social Enterprises; and Self Reliant Groups) and said that, although certain innovations may have the potential to address health inequalities, there was a lack of large scale, high quality empirical evidence to inform understanding of success or to demonstrate impact.
Source: Michael Roy, Neil McHugh, and Clementine Hill O'Connor, 'Social innovation: worklessness, welfare and well-being', Social Policy and Society, Volume 13 Issue 3
A think-tank report examined the possibilities for models of 'shared capitalism' to give United Kingdom employees a stake in the success of their workplace, including profit-sharing, employee share-ownership, and the expansion of the co-operative or mutual sector. The report also considered measures to give employees greater influence and control, and discussed ideas for economic reform and new institutions to disperse concentrations of economic power.
Source: Mathew Lawrence and Clare McNeil, Fair Shares: Shifting the balance of power in the workplace to boost productivity and pay, Institute for Public Policy Research
A report provided an overview of evidence regarding the role of social enterprises in enabling adult and young offenders to access training and employment opportunities. It said that many of the social enterprises and their programmes were still in their first year of operation, and their varied approaches made it difficult to make comparisons about their impact, but some case studies did report observing reduced reoffending by their service users. It outlined the range of services offered by the case study organizations, noted the importance of partnership working and inter-agency relationships, and discussed the value of the social enterprise model. A range of case studies were published alongside this report.
Source: Providing Employment and Training Opportunities for Offenders: Growing sustainable work integration social enterprises – a report of learning from this programme, Home Office/Social Firms UK/Clinks
An interim report examined initial findings from a study of the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund, which aimed to equip social ventures to secure new forms of investment and compete for public service contracts. It considered three main criteria: investments raised or contracts won by the supported ventures; the extent to which the capabilities of ventures had been built; and the extent to which the provider market had been strengthened.
Source: Adrian Brown and Katie McAllister, Ready, Willing and Able: An interim review of the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund, The Boston Consulting Group
A report examined the experiences and needs of social enterprises in finding support and funding. In response to the report, the government said that it would develop recommendations in partnership with organizations in the social investment marketplace.
Source: Social Finance in the UK: Designing the experience for ventures, Design Council
A report provided the findings from the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission, which was established to make recommendations to the Welsh government on growing and developing the co-operative and mutual economy in Wales, in order to create jobs and wealth. The report outlined the contribution that co-operatives and mutuals made to the economy and concluded that they could contribute to the creation of jobs, improvement of educational attainment, and reduction of inequality. The report set out recommendations to improve the advice and support, finance, procurement opportunities, and policy networks for the sector, and to facilitate the acquisition and use of community assets.
Source: Report of the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission, Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission
An article examined the relationship between funding sources and voluntary organizations' achievement of their primary social objectives. It said there was a negative relationship between income from trading activities and the achievement of objectives, although in the case of income from public sector contracts there was not a significant link.
Source: Piers Thompson and Robert Williams, 'Taking your eyes off the objective: the relationship between income sources and satisfaction with achieving objectives in the UK third sector', Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Volume 25 Number 1