The Editor’s Post: When big becomes better — the rebranding of the UK’s social investment wholesaler

The UK's social investment wholesaler goes from big to better, ‘systemic investing’ unpacked and expert insights on how to crush imposter syndrome. This week’s view from the Pioneers Post newsroom.

In 2009, we published the Social Investment Almanack. It followed the UK’s first ever social investment conference, Good Deals 2008, which we hosted in London. The aim of our Almanack (nearly 200 pages long) was to shed light on the UK’s emerging social investment scene, which had strong support at the time from Gordon Brown’s Labour government. 

One of the articles in the publication was about a nascent idea for a social investment bank, an investment house with a mission to do good. The article asked questions about where its money would come from, how it could work in practice, and what demand there would be from social enterprises and organisations in the third sector. At the time, a government-led consultation was being held on the design and functions of a ‘social investment wholesale bank’. 

As is the way with these things, discussions continued for some time, but, eventually, in 2012, Big Society Capital – the UK’s social investment wholesaler – opened for business, under a coalition government led by David Cameron (pictured top).


At the time, David Cameron’s favourite concept – the ‘big society’ – was regularly discussed. The prime minister was keen to “empower communities” and redistribute power from Whitehall to ordinary people. So it made sense for the new institution to be called Big Society Capital.

But now the name doesn’t make so much sense. Our younger colleagues are often mystified about what it means, and perhaps, in a changing political environment, it’s an unfortunate affiliation.

So this week, Big Society Capital became Better Society Capital. The new name, say its bosses, better reflects what it does today.


Don’t miss the SE100 deadline this weekend

The search is on for this year’s top performing and most inspirational social business pioneers across a range of categories in this year’s Pioneers Post and NatWest SE100 Awards. The deadline is 5 May – don’t miss out! 


This week's top stories

Big Society Capital rebrands as Better Society Capital

Impact 101: What is systemic investing?

Webinar recording: How to crush imposter syndrome — ‘Be yourself. Be honest. Be open’


Header photo: David Cameron delivers a speech at the Conservative Party Big Society conference, March 2010 (source: Conservatives, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED)