Social Investment can take many and varied forms, but basically it is a form of funding derived from national dormant assets that is borrowed from Social Investors to deliver services and provision that meets social need.
Borrowing is generally at a lower rate than a commercial loan, but is supplied with additional support.
There are loads of different Social Investment models and these can differ widely and include Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and other models.
SIBs are normally three way agreements between an Investor, a Commissioner, and a Provider where the Investor pays for a project or service delivered by the Provider, and the Investor is refunded from the Commissioner, either through direct funding or from savings and efficiencies.
Other Social Investment models are matched with grant funding, or incentives to ensure that they are delivered. National Government is supportive of this approach to funding services and has incentivised market growth.
Blended Finance models are also available which include elements of Social Investment alongside more traditional funding options like grants.
It sounds really complicated, but it really isn't. It's also really hard to put down in writing, so try this animation instead.