Social Investment in Essex: A Research Report

Social Investment in Essex: A Research Report

6th September 2017


Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) has today published its findings from research conducted on behalf of the Essex Partnership* into social investment in Essex. 


The research explored the potential within social enterprises, charities and voluntary sector organisations in Essex to seek investment from social investment providers.  SEEE surveyed 122 organisations based or operating in Essex (including Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock) in early 2017.


Key findings included:


-       an appetite for growth amongst the sector but not always the available capacity to achieve it

-       low take up of social investment by the sector

-       limited awareness of the range of social investment opportunities and providers

-       a clear need for tailored support to assist organisations develop their traded activity

-       risk adverse cultures amongst organisations and trustees present a barrier to growth


The full report can be downloaded here


Further information about the research is available on request from


* The Essex Partnership identified a need to stimulate social investment and business engagement in community projects and to strengthen the capability of the sector to lever investment. Therefore it set up a programme with funding from the Transformation Challenge Award to raise awareness and improve access to social investment opportunities. The intention is to help build a sustainable VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) sector that can face the business challenges of the future.  In addition to the research conducted by SEEE, the programme includes a sector event held in May 2017 to provide organisations with the opportunity to explore how social investment could help their initiatives grow or diversify their income, as well as an Essex Social Investment Readiness Programme to provide support for up to 20 social enterprises and voluntary organisations that want to seek social investment.