The University of Oxford has joined forces with 11 leading universities to create Impact 12, an impact investment fund to support mission-led university ventures.
The ten-year, multi-million-pound fund will support social ventures created within the participating universities across the UK. The fund will support ventures motivated by beneficial social or environmental impact, rather than solely by profit.
Impact 12 has been developed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS), an impact investor and responsible finance provider based in Edinburgh, in partnership with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Northampton, Coventry and eight universities comprising the MICRA Project (Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick). Oxford University Innovation leads the consortium.
Impact 12’s aim is to bring positive change, to people and places, by accelerating the development and success of impact-led social ventures spun out of universities. It will support social ventures with innovative finance tailored to their needs, including equity investment and debt. The fund will also provide access to timely and expert mission-aligned finance and impact support.
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford said:
'I am delighted to see the growing emphasis on social ventures. Over the past three years, 11 companies targeting six of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have emerged from the four Divisions of the University. Combining applied research with sustainable economics they address some of the critical issues of the day. Impact 12 will align Oxford’s research and innovation expertise with the community experience of our partner institutions and advance the progress of social ventures far beyond Oxfordshire’s borders.'
The fund will launch later this year with an initial fundraising target of £8 million. The capital raised will be deployed to support up to fifteen social ventures from across the partner universities, with both seed and follow-on funding over the next ten years.
Over the last two years, Oxford University Innovation has helped academics and students launch more than ten social ventures. These ventures have found solutions to issues relating to poverty, clinical knowledge sharing, COVID-19 testing and homelessness. You can read more about them on the Oxford University Innovation website.