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Nesta launches £25m investment fund for early-stage social ventures

£17.5m so far invested in the social innovation-boosting fund

Innovation foundation Nesta has introduced Nesta Impact Investments, a £25m fund to support new social enterprises.

Launched by Nesta’s subsidiary company Nesta Investment Management, the fund has so far raised £17.5m thanks to investment from Nesta, Big Society Capital and Omidyar Network, which was started by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife Pam.

It is hoped that the £25m target will be reached after a second funding round planned within the next 18 months.

Targeting companies that focus on helping the aged, improving education or supporting communities, Nesta Impact Investments offers investments of £150,000 to £1m.

Nesta’s Standards of Evidence for Impact Investing has been simultaneously launched alongside the fund to enable Nesta to evaluate the social benefits of each enterprise before investing.

Joe Ludlow director of Nesta Investment Management hopes that such measures will enable Nesta to invest in early stage companies that add value to society.

He commented: “Nesta Impact Investments will be investing in higher-risk early stage innovations where we intend to create value for those benefitting from the social innovations we back and for our investors.

“The fund has been established to focus on high impact innovations and so we will be placing great emphasis on evidencing the impact of the investments that the fund makes, ensuring that capital flows to the innovations that can increasingly demonstrate real impact in society.”

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