Edinburgh Local

University of Edinburgh backs fund that aims to diversify social investments

The University of Edinburgh has committed to invest in a new fund that supports entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.

A social impact investment fund developed by Big Issue Invest (BII), UnLtd and Shift, aimed at social enterprises and organisations from underrepresented backgrounds, has welcomed a host of further investors onboard, as the fund’s completed on its first close of £8.2m towards its £25m target. 

The University of Edinburgh joins other backers, including Big Society Capital, Scope, Trust for London, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Charities Trust, among others.  

The Growth Impact Fund aims to tackle inequality and promote racial justice by being built around the needs of entrepreneurs historically locked out of social investment, as highlighted by the Adebowale Commission on Social Investment in 2022. 

The potential £25 million fund has been designed and developed with social entrepreneurs of diverse genders, ethnicities, ages, and those with disabilities. The fund offers flexible and patient capital for social businesses to grow their impact, ringfencing a minimum of 50% of funding for leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. 

Addressing social inequality and providing opportunities for all is at the heart of the University of Edinburgh as an institution. We are delighted to be part of the Growth Impact Fund and look forward to working with a range of partners to diversify social investment, offer opportunities to underrepresented groups, and deliver a positive social impact nationwide.

Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh.

The University’s vision is to be recognised as the leading UK university for social enterprise and investments by the academic year 2023-24 and to date, it has allocated £8m to invest in socially positive activities.  


Find out more 

Social and civic investments at the University 

Social and Civic Responsibility Plan 

Big Issue Invest