Nesta has announced the first projects that will receive funding from its £25 million social impact fund war-chest designed to help out a number of different vulnerable demographics.
Four different projects will receive a collective total of £2 million that will let the respective groups target challenges faced by older people, children and the community at large.
The highest level of investment went to Sherston Software with £750,000 plunged into a company that develops innovative educational software set up to motivate children and in turn boost educational performance amongst them.
£700,000 was invested into Ffrees Family Finance, which provides a digital current account that allows families to save money as it is spent with customers receiving Ffrees points every time money is spent that can eventually be redeemed as cash.
Oomph! [‘Our Organisation Makes People Happy’!] is a social enterprise that looks to improve the health and quality of life of older people in care homes and received £200,000 in order to help it do this. The work it carries out takes the form of interactive and fun group exercise classes that include ‘chair cheerleading’, which take place both in care homes and the community.
Lastly, £175,000 was invested in Movellas, which is a new creative online story sharing community for teenagers that already offers over 85,000 free stories written by teens for teens.
The fund as a whole has sourced £25 million in funding since its launch back in October 2012 and is backed by Big Society Capital and Omidyar Network, both investors looking for financial return and at the same time social impact.
Nesta estimates that the social investment market is already worth around £200 million and that it has the potential to grow to £1 billion by 2016.