Bridges Ventures and Impetus Trust support Teens and Toddlers successful bid for DWP Innovation Fund

Bridges Ventures (Bridges) and Impetus Trust (Impetus) today announced they have led an investor syndicate supporting charity Teens and Toddlers to deliver a 3-year, £3.25 million payment-by-results contract through the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Fund was set up by the government to support disadvantaged young people improve their education, employment and training outcomes. The Teens and Toddlers programme works through an innovative model, providing teenagers with an opportunity to act as a role model to vulnerable toddlers[1] in a safe and supervised nursery environment, helping them to build a sense of responsibility. This is combined with classroom sessions focused on tackling behavioural problems and educational challenges.

Under the Innovation Fund’s contract, one of the Round 2 successful bids announced by the DWP this week, the Teens and Toddlers programme will be rolled-out across the North West of England with the aim of supporting around 1,100 young people who are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) to achieve improved educational and behavioural outcomes.

Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund and Impetus have invested alongside Big Society Capital, CAF Venturesome, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Barrow Cadbury Foundation. The investment has been made through a social impact bond to cover the set up costs and the working capital to deliver the contract. The investors were advised by Social Finance and Freshfields.

The Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund was launched in 2009 with the aim of addressing the funding gap often faced by social enterprises looking to scale. The fund is already leading investments in two of the DWP Innovation Fund Round 1 programmes announced earlier this year, Links 4 Life and Triodos New Horizons.

Since 2002 Impetus has pioneered its highly successful venture philanthropy model in the UK, delivering a combination of management support from the Impetus investment team, pro bono specialist expertise and strategic funding to deliver accelerated growth to charities and social enterprises. Impetus Trust has been working with Teens and Toddlers since 2009 to support the development of the organisation as a whole, increasing its capacity and capability to have a greater impact.

Antony Ross, Partner and Head of Social Entrepreneurs Fund at Bridges Ventures, said: “Teen and Toddlers has a strong track record in delivering targeted positive behavioural and educational outcomes and we are delighted to be one of the lead investors in its roll out, the third DWP Innovation Fund’s payment-by-results programme Bridges will be investing in.”

He added: “The rapidly growing payments-by-result sector is creating a real opportunity for social enterprises to demonstrate their ability to provide and scale high impact innovative services to the government and as investors we are seeing more opportunities to get involved by providing the working capital required to deliver payment-by-results contracts.”

Commenting on the successful bid, Impetus Chief Executive Daniela Barone Soares said: “We are pleased to be playing a lead role in helping Teens and Toddlers to scale up their innovative programme. Helping charities and social enterprises become investment ready is critical if their highly effective services are to be mainstreamed to benefit more young people experiencing economic disadvantage. Over the last three years we have worked closely with Teens and Toddlers to build their capacity and help them achieve greater impact and we are today delighted that they can now gain from social investment, which we see as an important platform for their further growth.”



Contact information

Bridges Ventures

Hannah Randall – Capital MSL


0207 255 5177


Impetus Trust

Kawika Solidu


020 3551 7048


Notes to Editors

About Bridges Ventures

Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges Ventures”) is specialist fund manager dedicated to using an impact-driven investment approach to create superior returns for both investors and society at-large.

It was established in 2002 with a mission to use its commercial expertise to achieve focused social or environmental benefit, as well as attractive returns for investors. Bridges Ventures has raised six funds to date which total almost £275m: Sustainable Growth Funds I, II and III, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund, CarePlaces Fund and the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.


About Impetus Trust

Impetus Trust (www.impetus.org.uk) works to break the cycle of poverty by investing in ambitious charities and social enterprises that fight economic disadvantage. It uses a highly effective venture philanthropy model to accelerate the growth of carefully selected organisations so they can help more economically disadvantaged people to gain education, skills and jobs. Last year, Impetus-supported charities helped more than 300,000 people. For every £1 Impetus invests, it is able to leverage nearly £4 more of value for its portfolio organisations, through the deployment of high-calibre pro bono expertise, partnership investment and additional funds raised.

About Teens & Toddlers

Teens and Toddlers (www.teensandtoddlers.org.uk) was founded in 2001 to address the social exclusion of young people.  It is focused on inspiring young people to achieve the skills, qualifications and self-belief they need to succeed in school, work and life.  To date, the charity has reached over 7,000 young people and children, working across 26 Local Authorities.  For every £1 spent, Teens and Toddlers saves society £6 – a Social Return on Investment (SROI) of £1:6 over five years, as measured by the Centre for Excellence in Outcomes.

[1] Vulnerable toddlers are those who have been identified by nursery staff as needing early intervention support, for example autistic children and elective mutes.