Fran Sanderson has been at Nesta for six years and has overseen the development of Arts & Culture Finance, which manages over £30m of impact capital on behalf of eight funders, including Nesta. She has led on various projects including Nesta’s involvement in the RSC’s Dream project, for the Industrial Strategy’s Audience of the Future programme; Amplified, a grant and structured support programme helping cultural and creative organisations to use digital ideas to generate social impact; a Creative Immersive Mental Health fellowship programme with StoryFutures looking at the role of creatives in engaging users; and Alternarratives, a prize designed to bring the short story form into the 21st century with the aim of reigniting interest in reading for pleasure among young people. Fran started her career as a fund manager at JPMorgan, before spending some time travelling in a campervan and living off grid in southern Portugal with her young family. She started working in impact investment at the birth of Big Society Capital in 2012, and has a lifelong passion for the arts.
The Adebowale Commission was a timely challenge to UK social investors. But to provide more enterprise-centric finance we need answers to some important questions, says the Social Investment Forum chair.
It’s been nearly three years since the world's first impact investment fund for arts and culture began backing projects. Two key lessons have emerged, explains Nesta's director of arts and culture programmes.