Ben leads the social investment work at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, shaping the organisation’s social investment strategy, managing overall portfolio performance, designing opportunities and spreading best practice.
Before joining Esmée, Ben established and managed UnLtd’s social investment department.
Ben studied International Business and Modern Languages at Aston University, before spending two years as a management and strategy consultant and two years designing and implementing a change strategy at a university student advice centre.
Covid-19 has highlighted the fact that many common forms of social investment are inflexible and have failed the social enterprises they seek to support, says Ben Smith, head of social investment at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. But being patient and flexible is not without its challenges.
Following the launch of UnLtd’s Impact Fund this month, Ben Smith, UnLtd’s investment lead, explores what investors and intermediaries need to change for social ventures to start achieving impact at scale.
Calling all social entrepreneurs! Applications for UnLtd's Big Venture Challenge are now open. The programme's coordinators reflect on some of the key challenges faced by past participants of the business support programme.