20th April 2016

Better Outcomes, Better Value: The evolution of social impact bonds in the UK

Bridges Ventures (“Bridges”), the specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment, has issued a white paper examining the way forward for social impact bonds (“SIBs”).

Entitled ‘Better Outcomes, Better Value: the evolution of the SIB market in the UK’, the paper is based on lessons learned from the thirteen SIB contracts that Bridges has backed to date, and is primarily aimed at those who commission services at local or national government level.

Bridges hopes that the paper can help to break down some of the barriers preventing the SIB market from achieving greater scale.

Some of the key points in the paper include:

  • SIBs/ outcomes contracts should be seen as a tool to drive greater efficiency in existing services, not just to de-risk innovative new ones
  • There are a few policy areas in particular where the early SIBs have already delivered improved outcomes – including youth employment, children’s services, homelessness and health & social care
  • There is a substantial portion of current Government spending where there is almost no outcomes-based contracting; it makes sense to at least try outcomes-based approaches in some of these areas
  • Outcomes contracts will ultimately have to offer better value than any available alternative, or there is no reason to think they will succeed at scale

Andrew Levitt, Head of Social Impact Bonds at Bridges Ventures, said:

“Our experience to date suggests that introducing more outcomes-based payment mechanisms within specific policy areas could help commissioners improve service delivery and get a better understanding of which approaches work best. Over time, this should help governments achieve better value for public money and, crucially, better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in society.”


 View the report here.   (screen view)    (print view


SIB Better Outcomes, Better Value 3





 For more information or to request a copy of the paper, please contact:

Amy Williams, Redleaf Communications
+44 20 7382 4742




About Bridges Ventures  

Bridges Ventures LLP is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment, with offices in London and New York. It invests in high-impact SMEs, properties and social sector organisations that can generate superior returns for investors and positive impact for society, focusing on four key impact ‘themes’: health & wellbeing, education, sustainable living and underserved markets. Founded in 2002, it has since raised over £600 million across its platform of funds.

The £25m Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund is the first of its type in the world. It invests solely in outcomes contracts, providing aligned capital (up to £3m per transaction) and management support for charities and social enterprises based in the UK that have:

  • A clear social mission
  • A strong management team
  • The ability to deliver highly impactful social interventions
  • The ability to robustly monitor and proactively manage the social outcomes delivered by these programmes


SIBs: Recent Developments

 The UK government – which has been consistently supportive of the development of the SIB market – recently announced the creation of a new “centre of excellence” to speed up the development of social impact bonds and support innovative public sector commissioning.

  • The Government Outcomes Lab will be based at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.