Bridges backs world’s first two ‘follow-on’ SIBs as concept proves its worth

19th March 2015

Bridges is backing two new Social Impact Bonds to be delivered by Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers as part of Government’s new Youth Engagement Fund Both providers have already delivered successful SIBs that have resulted in better social outcomes for the Government and will repay investors in full Bridges has now invested in 13 UK-commissioned SIBs […]

  • Bridges is backing two new Social Impact Bonds to be delivered by Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers as part of Government’s new Youth Engagement Fund
  • Both providers have already delivered successful SIBs that have resulted in better social outcomes for the Government and will repay investors in full
  • Bridges has now invested in 13 UK-commissioned SIBs

The Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund, managed by specialist sustainable and impact investor Bridges Ventures, has agreed to invest up to £1.35m in two new social impact bonds (“SIBs”) designed to help vulnerable young people, as part of the UK Government’s Youth Engagement Fund (“YEF”).

These SIBs are particularly significant because the two providers – social sector organisations Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers – have both already delivered successful SIB-funded interventions that have exceeded the outcome targets set by the Department for Work & Pensions (“DWP”) and generated substantial savings for the Government. As a result, the related SIBs will be the first in the world to repay their investors in full.

These previous interventions – Career Connect’s Triodos New Horizon SIB on Merseyside and the Teens & Toddlers SIB in Greater Manchester – were both commissioned as part of the DWP’s Innovation Fund. Together, they have been able to help over 4,000 vulnerable young people, demonstrably improving attitude, attendance and behaviour in schools, the achievement of NQF qualifications and (in the case of Career Connect) entry into employment.

As such, these SIBs have provided clear evidence that outcome-based commissioning involving social investors, coupled with focused performance management, can drive improved educational and employment outcomes for the most disadvantaged young people in society. By doing so, they are also able to deliver significant savings for the Government and positive returns for investors.

The new three-year programmes aim to go even further, supporting more than 5,500 vulnerable young people in the North-West of England, many of whom are struggling as a result of poverty, family breakdown or special educational needs. Career Connect will be delivered in up to 40 schools on Merseyside, while Teens & Toddlers will again work across the Greater Manchester region. Both programmes are intended to help pupils build their confidence, self-esteem and engagement, which has been demonstrated to improve behaviour, attendance and attainment in schools.

Bridges’ investment in these two SIBs builds on its previous experience of funding social sector organisations to deliver outcomes-based contracts. Bridges’ Social Sector Funds have now backed 13 social impact bonds in the UK, financing innovative interventions in areas like foster care, youth training, health and adoption.

Antony Ross, partner and head of Social Sector Funds at Bridges Ventures, said:

“This is an important milestone in the development of the social impact bond market. The success of Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers shows that SIB-funded interventions can deliver better social outcomes for the Government, at lower cost – while also generating positive returns for investors. This is the kind of evidence that can attract more money into social investment, and ultimately improve outcomes across the board. The Government’s decision to re-commission new programmes from both Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers is testament to their success – and we believe that by drawing on their past experience, these providers can deliver even better outcomes second time around.”



Bridges Ventures
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3780 8000
Antony Ross/Marina Aung




Notes for Editors

About Bridges Ventures

Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges”) is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment. It invests in high-impact SMEs, properties and social organisations that can generate superior returns for both investors and society as a whole. It focuses on four key impact ‘themes’: health & wellbeing, education, sustainable living and under-served markets.

The Bridges Social Impact Bond fund – the first of its type in the world – was launched in April 2013 with Big Society Capital as cornerstone investor, alongside Omidyar Network and Panahpur. It held a final close on £25m in September 2014. The fund provides investment and support to charities and social enterprises delivering intervention programmes that substantially improve social outcomes.

The Social Impact Bond Fund also has a co-investment agreement with Bridges’ other Social Sector fund, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund. Seeded by the Bridges Charitable Trust, this fund was launched in August 2009 and has raised nearly £12m for investment in scalable social enterprises and charities with sustainable business models delivering high social impacts.

Bridges now manages almost £500 million across its Sustainable Growth, Property and Social Sector funds.


About the Youth Engagement Fund

The Youth Engagement Fund is a £16m cross-government payment-by-results fund established to support innovative preventative interventions that will improve outcomes for young people between the ages of 14 and 17 across England.  It builds on the lessons from the DWP Innovation Fund Rounds 1 and 2.


About Career Connect (

Career Connect is a charity that is passionate about providing high quality independent careers advice, bridging the gap to learning and employment and better life chances for young people and adults.

Established in 2001 as Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership, it brought together some of the highest qualified and experienced Careers Advisers from across the area.  Working together as a team of experts on education and careers, it extended its services beyond the Merseyside region into areas across the North-West and further afield.

The company was renamed Career Connect in 2014 and has become a leading provider of careers information advice and guidance to young people and adults.


About Teens and Toddlers (

Teens and Toddlers was founded in 2001 to address the social exclusion of young people.

The charity inspires disengaged young people from disadvantaged areas to succeed at school, in work and in the community. It does this by giving them the life skills and self-belief they need to understand who they are, who they can become and what they can achieve.

To date, Teens and Toddlers has reached more than 14,000 disadvantaged young people and children in England.




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